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2017-18 Budget Development

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Graphic: Vote on May 16th

 

Read about the 2017-18 budget proposal in the newsletter: PDF

Graphic of the budget newsletter front page

 

All budget meetings are open to the public.

Budget Calendar

January, 2017:
  • Board of Education receives 2017-18 Budget Development Timeline
  • Robert Yusko (Business Manager) and Paul Jenkins (Superintendent) meet with Administrators to distribute budget guidelines and requisition sheets, and gather input regarding program staff needs, materials and supplies, cost-saving ideas, and potential reduction in building budgets.
  • Administrators submit program budget composite to Business Manager (building materials and supplies).
February 1, 2017:
  • Board of Education receives 2017-18 preliminary budget forecast and proposed budget assumptions
March 1, 2017:
  • Tax Levy Limit submission due to the Office of the State Comptroller
March 13, 2017:
  • Regular Board of Education meeting,
    7 p.m. @ District Office, 15 Quade Street
    Board to adopt
    the Notice of Registration and Notice of Public Hearing and Annual Meeting resolution
March 14, 2017:
  • School Board candidate nominating petitions available in the district office
April, 2017:
  • District Office prepares absentee ballot applications, absentee ballot, related envelopes, and directions (The ballot must be mailed not earlier than 30 days or later than 7 days prior to the election day – (April 27 – May 9, 2017 for GFSD)
  • Board of Education finalizes 2017-18 educational plan and budget before the April 24, 2017 due date for NYS Property Tax Report Card
March 31, 2017:
  • First Notice of Budget Hearing, Annual Meeting and Election published in the Post Star (at least 45 days before Budget Vote)
April 5, 2017:
  • Audit & Finance Committee meeting
    7 p.m. @ HS auditorium, 15 Quade Street
    Budget Development
MEETING DOCUMENTS:
April 10, 2017:
  • Regular Board of Education Meeting,
    7 p.m. @ District Office, 15 Quade Street
MEETING DOCUMENTS:
April 25, 2017:
  • Last day to file Taxpayer Report Card with New York State and provide to the Post Star for publication
April 26, 2017:
  • 2017-18 Proposed Budget Statement and attachments made available to the public
    online, at every school building, and Crandall Public Library
April 26, 2017:
  • LAST DAY FOR FILING CANDIDATE PETITIONS with Clerk of the Board (20 days before election and signed by at least 100 qualified voters), 5 p.m. deadline
  • Voter Registration at District Office: 9-11am & 5-7pm
April 27, 2017:
  • Drawing for candidates’ position on ballot
  • Candidates informed of legal requirement for all candidates for election to Board of Education to file sworn statements of campaign contributions and distribute informational material
  • Candidates’ photos taken and personal statement received for publication in Budget Newsletter
  • Press notified of candidates for the School Board, date, time, and polling places
April 27—May 9, 2017:
  • Absentee ballots mailed to any qualified voter who requests one at the District Office.
May 3, 2017:
  • Public Hearing on the budget, 7 p.m. @ District Office, 15 Quade Street
May 4, 2017:
  • Required Proposed Budget Notice and Budget Newsletter mailed to District residents
May 8, 2017:
  • Regular Board of Education Meeting,
    7 p.m. @ District Office, 15 Quade Street
May 16, 2017:
  • BUDGET VOTE DAY: District Annual Meeting and election of Board of Education, noon—9 p.m. at Sanford Street School
  • Deadline (5 p.m.) for receipt of all Absentee Ballots in order to be counted in the election vote
  • Board of Education meets at 9:00 P.M. to tabulate votes and declare winners
  • Clerk of the Board notifies winners within 24 hours of the vote tabulation
  • Press notified of election results; BOCES District Superintendent notified of budget vote results
June 20, 2017:
  • Statewide budget re-vote day, if required (third Tuesday of June)
July 1, 2017:
  • Implement 2017-18 Budget

 

2017-18 budget development quick links

 

Glens Falls residents vote “Yes” on the 2017-18 school budget

Bus lease and capital project approved; Field lights rejected

May 16, 2017—Glens Falls City School District residents approved the 2017-18 school budget today by a margin of 1108 "yes" votes to 260 “no” votes – an 81 percent approval rate. The $43 million spending plan will increase the tax levy by 1.94 percent, and represents a budget-to-budget spending increase of $1,627,387, or approximately 3.9 percent. The approved budget builds upon the district’s current educational program with the addition of five positions: a fifth grade teacher, a grades 7/8 reading teacher, a teaching assistant, and two social workers.

Matthew Levin and Jason Rivers were elected to the Board of Education. Each will begin a five-year term on July 1, 2017, after receiving 1082 and 1027 votes, respectively.

Voters also approved the bus lease proposition, which allows the district to lease two 66-passenger school buses, two 28-passenger vans, and one 21-passenger wheelchair van—replacing older buses and providing for backup vehicles in case of an emergency. Votes on the bus proposition were 1178 for and 205 against.

Residents approved the capital project for renovations and repairs (Proposition #2) by a margin of 1122 in favor and 259 opposed. This $17.5 million project will focus on a variety of structural, infrastructure, and parking improvements. Major items include boiler and/or roof replacements at every building, improvements to drop-off and pick-up points at Jackson Heights and Kensington Road elementary schools, gym floor replacements at Big Cross elementary and the High School, and a 21st Century Learning Environment for students in the High School. The district is committing $1,825,000 of existing fund balance so that there will be no additional local tax impact, above 2017-18 levels, to fund this specific capital project.

On the proposal to install glare-controlled, energy-efficient LED lighting on the High School’s turf field (Proposition #3), voters disagreed with 549 “yes” votes to 833 “no” votes.

“It was great to see such high turnout for this vote,” said Superintendent Paul Jenkins. “Topping 1,300 voters is a record for our district. The community’s support for our schools is essential to the success of our students.”

“Clearly the community was not in favor of the lights. But they overwhelmingly supported the budget, as well as the renovations and repairs that the district’s buildings need.”

Archived budget development materials can be found on the district’s web site, www.gfsd.org.

 

School budget proposal for 2017-18: vote on May 16

Educational program invests in future

Budget continues all programs, services

April 28, 2017 -- Residents in the Glens Falls City School District will decide on a $43 million budget proposal for the 2017-18 school year on Tuesday, May 16. Voting takes place from noon to 9 p.m. in the Sanford Street School gym.

The months-long budget development process resulted in a plan that increases spending by $1.6 million or 3.93 percent from the current year. The district’s tax levy would increase by 1.94 percent, which is the district’s maximum allowable without a supermajority vote.

“The necessary growth in the 2017-18 spending plan addresses our students’ needs in strategic and carefully thought out ways,” says Superintendent Paul Jenkins. The budget provides for five additional positions: a fifth grade teacher, a grades 7/8 reading teacher, a teaching assistant, and two social workers.

The new social workers will provide support at the elementary and high school levels, and work specifically to increase high school attendance. “We see a truancy officer as a more punitive solution, whereas a social worker can provide resources and family-specific support,” says Mr. Jenkins. “It’s a much better motivator for the kids, to have their unique needs met that will bring down those barriers to coming to school.”

Assistant superintendent for business Robert Yusko also notes that depending on the type of services performed, social worker positions are eligible for reimbursements under the current NYS School Supportive Health Services Program (SSHSP) Medicaid program—whereas a truancy officer would not.

The proposal also: maintains all existing academic, athletic, and extra-curricular programs and related student services; adds programming to address class size management in the primary grades; and stays within New York State’s property tax cap.

Also included within the budget is a plan to enter a five-year lease agreement for two 66-passenger school buses, two 28-passenger vans, and one 21-passenger wheelchair van. “The lease payments would not exceed, $70,000 per year, and would be paid out of the general operating budget,” explains Mr. Yusko. “However, any leasing period greater than one year requires voter approval. That’s why the buses appear as an independent proposition on the May 16th ballot. So, although there is a separate proposition to authorize the lease agreements, the required budget appropriation for the leases will not exceed the 2017-2018 budget proposal. In fact, a budget appropriation already exists for contract transportation, so the leases would effectively replace the current cost of contract transportation.”

Distinct from the budget and bus ballot items are two other propositions on a capital project and lighting for Putt LaMay Field.

The first of these, a $17,550,000 proposition, would authorize work to be performed that was identified in the district’s most recent Building Condition Survey (BCS). The State Education Department requires that every district in New York State perform a BCS every five years, to assess existing facilities for health and safety considerations affecting students, faculty/staff, and community members.

The work identified in the first proposition focuses on a variety of structural, infrastructure, and parking improvements. Major items include boiler and/or roof replacements at every building, improvements to drop-off and pick-up points at Jackson Heights and Kensington Road elementary schools, gym floor replacements at Big Cross elementary and the High School, and a 21st Century Learning Environment for students in the High School.

The second, $691,200 proposition, would authorize lights to be purchased and installed on Putt LaMay Field.

“The district will commit $1,825,000 of existing fund balance to ensure that, if approved, there will be no additional tax impact on the Glens Falls City School District community, above 2017-2018 levels, to fund this specific capital project,” explains Mr. Yusko.

The budget and related propositions were Board of Education-approved after an open process that included several work sessions that began in October. Materials from the Board’s audit and finance committee meetings can be found in the sidebar to the right.

Graphic showing projected revenes and expenses within the 2017-18 budget

Budget books available

Budget books—which include detailed information on the District’s NYSED report card, the Fiscal Accountability Summary, Budget Statement, Property Tax Report Card, Salary Disclosure Notice, and Exemption Reporting for Taxing Jurisdictions—are available to any district resident at Crandall Public Library, all school buildings, and the district office.


Two seats open on the board in May 2017

The Board of Education of the Glens Falls City School District is made up of nine members who are elected by qualified voters of the district. They serve without pay for five-year terms. The Board of Education, in serving its role as trustee of the district's five schools (three elementary, one Middle School, and one High School), is responsible for the development of the policy through which the Superintendent administers the educational program, the students, and the staff.

This May, voters will have the opportunity to elect two community members to the Glens Falls City Schools Board of Education. There are two candidates running for two seats:

Matthew J. Levin

photo of staff and students

Mr. Levin, of 8 Ames Place, is seeking his first term on the Board of Education.
He is an Engineering Systems and Process Manager at General Electric.

"My children will be 3rd generation graduates of the GFSD. The education I received at Glens Falls positively impacted me. By serving on the board, I hope to continue this effect on future students. I have experience serving on boards, exposing me to the give and take needed for a board to reach its goals. During my career at GE I have seen firsthand the demand for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. However, I prefer STEAM (encompassing arts) in order to ensure students get the well-rounded education they need for future success. I look forward to working with the other board members, with the objective of creating the best learning environment for all students."

Jason G. Rivers

photo of staff and students

Mr. Rivers, of 9 Sheridan St., is seeking his first term on the Board of Education.
He is a Special Education Teacher at Warrensburg Central School District.

"By serving on the Glens Falls City Schools Board of Education, I wish to contribute to a crucial aspect of our area: public education. I am involved with youth hockey and baseball, the PTA of Kensington, and have two children within the GFSD community. Additionally, my career is within public education, serving as a teacher, special educator, and coach. This combination provides me with the experience to confront our district’s toughest obstacles in a time when our teachers need the necessary resources, training, and support to make learning accessible to all of our students. I look forward to working with other board members to ensure our students have opportunities for success."

 

Nearly-complete budget proposal carries 1.94% increase in tax levy; no reductions in staff, program

April 5, 2017 - The Glens Falls Board of Education reviewed the nearly-complete 2017-18 budget proposal at an audit and finance committee meeting on April 5, where Asst. Superintendent for Business Robert Yusko detailed a $43 million spending plan that preserves all academic programming. View the presentation in full [HERE].

tax cap calculation graphic

 

 

 

Tax levy limit calculation rarely results in "2% tax cap"

“The tax cap was originally marketed, and largely understood, as a ‘two percent cap,’” the statewide School Business Officials group notes. “But the law actually reads ‘the lesser of two percent or the inflation factor’ and now for three years in a row [this figure in] the tax cap has been below two percent.”

The CPI figure surely affects the eight-part calculation of a school district’s property tax cap, but it’s only one of the key figures necessary to arrive at the final “cap,” explains business director Bobby Yusko. (see graphic, below left)

graphic of tax levy limit calculation

“For Glens Falls, other pieces of the tax cap calculation have a greater effect on our tax cap than the CPI figure,” says Mr. Yusko. “Since we’re still receiving building aid on our science and technology capital project, those exclusions are having a stronger impact on our tax cap than the CPI.”

Once the calculation is complete, school district tax levy increases are limited to the calculated percentage for 2017, unless voters approve a budget with at least a 60 percent supermajority to override the tax cap.

Revenue from property taxes makes up fully half (50.26 percent) of Glens Falls City School District’s annual budget. State education aid accounts for 43.28 percent of revenues, while other funding sources contribute the rest (6.46 percent).

The district’s current-year property tax levy is $19,961,153. The state aid figure for 2016-17 remains a moving target, as Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget proposal released Jan. 13 is now being debated by legislators. The state budget—and with it, finalized state aid figures—is due to be approved by the NYS Legislature by April 1.

A more detailed explanation of the tax cap calculation can be found in the reference materials below.

 

 

New York's Property Tax Levy Cap

Although often referred to as a “2 percent tax cap,” New York’s new tax levy “cap” law does not restrict any proposed tax levy increase to 2 percent. Pursuant to the law, each school district must follow an 8-step calculation, outlined here, to calculate its individual “tax levy limit.” That limit then determines what level of voter support is required for budget approval.

The law's Allowable Growth Factor "2 percent" figure is actually calculated as "2 percent or the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is lower." Districts have been advised that the starting point for the tax levy cap calculation for the 2016-17 budget year will be 0.12%, because "the Average Annual Change in the CPI for 2015 was 0.12%, making the Allowable Levy Growth Factor for the 2016-17 Tax Levy Limit 0.12%." [source: State Aid Planning]

 

Budget development reference materials

2015-16 Budget Summary
• Total budget: $39,718,000
• Tax levy increase: 1.45%
• Budget-to-budget spending increase: 4.1% or $1,548,308

 

2014-15 Budget Summary
• Total budget: $38,169,692
• Tax levy increase: 1.53%
• Budget-to-budget spending decrease: (0.35%) or ($134,727)

 

2013-14 Budget Summary
• Total budget: $38,304,419
• Tax levy increase: 2.5%
• Budget-to-budget spending decrease: (1.7%) or ($660,465)

 

budget-related news archive

2016-17 Budget Development archive: HERE
2015-16 Budget Development archive: HERE
2014-15 Budget Development archive: HERE
2013-14 Budget Development archive: HERE