On Tuesday, June 19, Valley Central School District residents will vote on a $104,023,293 proposed budget for the 2018-19 school year. The budget, which represents a spending increase of $2,775,967, or 2.74%, is below the district's legal limit as defined by New York state's tax levy cap legislation. The vote will take place from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the North Cafeteria of Valley Central High School.
How we got here:
On May 15, Valley Central School District voters rejected the district’s initial $104,203,711 2018-19 budget proposal that would have increased spending 2.92 percent ($2,956,385) and would have carried a 4.09 percent tax levy increase. The budget would have preserved all existing programs, while enhancing curriculum and support services for students. Please click here for the initial budget proposal archive.
Board approves modified budget proposal
At a special meeting held on May 29, the Valley Central Board of Education voted 6-1 to approve a revised budget to the public for a vote on June 19, 2018. The revised budget that will be before voters reduces the district’s tax levy increase from the 4.09% increase that was rejected by voters on May 15, to a 3.11% increase.
“Since the initial budget defeat, we have had to opportunity to speak a number of our taxpayers with diverse needs and points of view,” Superintendent John Xanthis said. “Taking their feedback into account, we worked diligently to reduce the proposed tax levy increase by seeking reductions that would have little to no direct impact on student success.”
The revised budget eliminates some salary increases, admin stipends and retreats, reduces teacher conference costs, and reduces the number of team leaders at each building, among other cuts. A new physical education/health teacher and director of curriculum position remain in the proposed budget.
“With the wealth of new standards being implemented as a result of the Every Student Succeeds Act and the New York state new mental health curriculum unfunded mandate, we believe that eliminating these positions from the budget would have a direct negative impact on student education,” Xanthis said. “We are mandated to provide, and our students certainly deserve, a rigorous academic curriculum as well as resources and tools for social and emotional health. These two positions are critical to those goals and we would be doing our students a disservice to eliminate them entirely.”
The district also applied an additional $400k of fund balance towards the tax levy to further reduce the impact to taxpayers.
“We know that some of our taxpayers hoped to see a budget at a lower tax levy increase, whereas others were disappointed at the prospect of losing some of the opportunities that we ultimately eliminated,” Xanthis said. “Each year, we work diligently to draft a budget that balances the needs of our students while being fiscally responsible to our tax payers. We believe that the proposed revised budget eases taxpayer burden while preserving the educational opportunities available for our students here at Valley Central.”
What will happen if the vote is defeated?
If the modified budget is defeated by voters on June 19, the district would be obligated to adopt a contingent budget, and forced to cut more than $1.8 million worth of non-contingent expenditures from the proposed spending plan. These expenditures may include, but are not limited to:
- elementary school team leaders
- department chair positions
- modified and junior varsity sports
- professional development opportunities
- field trips
- evening high school
- high school science research
- post-session transportation
- extracurricular activities
For more information, please refer to the May 29 presentation.
Important dates & events
June 5 - Absentee ballots available
June 11 - Budget Hearing, Administrative Offices, 6 p.m. (A special meeting of the Board of Education will follow immediately)
June 12 - Voter Registration Day, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Administrative Offices
June 18 - Last day to register to vote
June 19 - Budget revote, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. VCHS