Tax increase expected in Charleroi School District budget

Posted May 17, 2017

Voters in all three of the town's school districts today approved the 2017-18 budgets and also decided winners of contested board elections.

"The vote says a lot, especially when you realize we just came off the land vote that some people characterize as the community not having confidence in the school district", he said.

That's an increase of 12.41 percent over previous year, due entirely, school officials say, to a change to record debt service expenditures in the general fund as recommended by the comptroller's office.

Proposed school budget increases in Goshen and Chester, up for a vote on Tuesday, are modest, both falling below the state-mandated tax cap.

Also in a separate proposition, voters will also be asked to authorize the purchase of six school buses for $667,676, bonded over five years.

The plan establishes a general education "continuum" that will focus extra services on struggling students who don't qualify for special education, while also expanding student electives, ramping up training and mentoring for teachers, and growing the district workforce. Heather Welch received 694 votes; Alan Barone drew 67.

The school budget passed by an unofficial vote of 836-212.

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Brian Villante, the school board president, was re-elected with 19 votes.

Superintendent Mark Hansen told the school board Monday that the state is about $86,000 short this year on its education fund payments and about $180,000 short in the transportation fund.

This time the spending increase will be modest, staying with the state-mandated tax cap.

"To be honest with you, for people who look at property values, there is a lot of correlation between how well a school district does, and it does have, I think, some sort of effect on property value".

Voter turnout increased this year.

One agenda item, addressing the open board member position, was however postponed until after two separate closed door Executive Sessions which were held at the end of the board meeting.

Sharon Springs's budget passed 121-15, and the bus vote was 111-22.

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The total proposed taxes to be collected by the school district will be $204,441,642, or 78.75 percent of the budget.

The $259,622,488 school budget represents a 2.34 percent increase over the previous year's budget.

In future years, this cost would be added to the tax levy.

A proposition regarding a $9 million capital project was also approved by voters, 811-231. The district's Chromebook program will also be expanded, providing more than 2,500 new mobile devices to students.

District residents on April 4 voted down the $6.8 million capital project, which included the purchase of almost 14 acres of land adjacent to the school for the construction of an athletic complex and nature pavilion, by a tally of 200 to 130.

In addition, the budget includes funding to support vital instructional technology enhancements, including the ability to provide wireless Internet access to over 95 percent of district instructional spaces. Current Board Members Gina Terbot and Darren Sneed won re-election 752 and 750 votes respectively.

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