Home » Board of Education adopts 2024-25 budget; voters to elect two members to the Board 

Board of Education adopts 2024-25 budget; voters to elect two members to the Board 

During its April 15 regular business meeting, the Schuylerville Board of Education adopted the 2024-25 budget proposal that will go before voters on Tuesday, May 21; qualified voters will be able to vote from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the District Office Board of Education room.

The $39.4 million proposed budget calls for a 2.62% spending increase and an estimated tax levy of 2.51%, which is the district’s allowable tax cap. Tax rates for individual properties will be determined over the summer once equalization rates and assessments are available for the district’s seven towns.

Follow this link to view the 2024-25 budget proposal presentation document.

Changes to the 2024-25 budget from the 2023-24 budget

Year to year, the budget always includes previously-agreed upon salary increases from all current contracts (for example, administration and management contracts, which were ratified last year). The budget also always includes minor increases or decreases to other expenses depending on the needs of the district. One example of this is testing supplies, as a result of switching to computer-based testing.

The following are decreases in the proposed 2024-25 budget:

  • The shared HR Service with NERIC that was recommended by an internal control audit, was not implemented.
  • BOCES Public Information: last year, this was increased to include the new branding and website redesign. Both initiatives will be completed by year-end.
  • An elementary school teacher with an individualized Memorandum of Agreement is not being replaced.
  • Tuition to Other Schools decreased, due to a student returning to the district.
  • BOCES Technology Services due to the department taking on more work and only utilizing one part-time BOCES staff.

The following are increases to the proposed 2024-25 budget:

  • 17.25% increase to health insurance.
  • Salary increases per the ratified STA contract.
  • Estimated salary increases for CSEA with their new contract.
  • BOCES Special Education: there are two students on the waiting list; program costs were increased between 2% -3.5% (increase of $120,000).
  • Two Special Education Teachers from the ESSR grant.
  • Career and Technical Education tuition was increased by 3%; 12 students previously covered in the ESSR grant were added to the budget (increase of $171,000).
  • Saratoga Center for the Family has been built into the budget which includes two counselors from the ESSR grants.
  • Increase to NYSERS of 2.10%
  • Increase to NYSTRS of 0.27%
  • 9% increase to package, auto and umbrella insurance.

Proposed cuts to the 2024-25 budget

Administration: 2 FTE’s (cuts)
8.72% of administrator salaries

  • Dean of Students (cut)
  • Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Professional Development (cut)

Clerical & Support: 3 FTE’s (1 retirement, 2 vacancies)
5.38% of clerical/support salaries

  • CSE Secretary (retirement)
  • Two educational aides (vacancies)

Building & Grounds: 2 FTE’s (2 vacancies)
5.71% buildings/grounds salaries

  • Two cleaners (vacancies)

Program (Classroom): 4 FTE’s (3 cuts, 1 vacancy)
1.56% of program salaries

  • Three elementary school teachers (cuts)
  • One high school teacher (retirement/vacancy)

Program (Athletics):
12.68% of athletic program salaries

  • Athletic Program Assistant Coaches
  • Intramurals at all levels

Elementary School Enrollment

The elementary school currently averages 17.12 students per class, with an average student to teacher ratio of 11.41 to 1. With the proposed cuts, small class sizes will remain intact, with an average of 18 students per class, and an average student to teacher ratio of 12 to 1.

Contingent Budget

If the 2024-25 proposed budget is voted down, the Board of Education has the following options: 

  • Put another budget (revised or not) up for a vote in June
  • Immediately adopt a contingent budget

The contingent budget would include all of the cuts previously mentioned, plus an additional $471,293 in reductions. If the district adopts a contingent budget, there can be no increase to the tax levy from the prior year.  Adopting a contingent budget prohibits a district from spending any money in certain areas, including:

  • Community use of school facilities (unless ALL costs are reimbursed to the district)
  • New equipment purchases
  • Non-essential maintenance
  • Capital expenditures (except in the case of emergencies)
  • Salary increases for non-instructional employees who are not members of a collective bargaining unit
  • Salary increases for employees designated by the Public Employment Relations Board as management or confidential

Ordinary contingent expenses may also have to be reduced to ensure no increase to the tax levy.

The 2024-25 Contingent Budget eliminates the non-contingent items mentioned previously, plus:

  • A reduction to administration (reducing one employee from 12-months to 11-months)
  • Cuts: two additional teachers and Student Services Staff
  • Cuts to co-curriculars 
  • Cuts to summer program days for school counselors and psychologists

Foundation Aid

In Governor Hochul’s January executive budget proposal, Schuylerville was projected to lose 17.23% of its foundation aid from the previous year, leading to a projected 5.71% decrease in overall revenue from the 2023-24 budget. The district participated in advocacy efforts to restore the “Hold Harmless” provision in the state budget, which has historically guaranteed school districts receive no less foundation aid than they did the previous year. 

As of today, April 17, there is a temporary agreement to preserve Hold-Harmless for the 2024-25 year, but with an additional understanding that the policy will be reconsidered going forward (with the Governor’s intent to eliminate it in the future.) However, even if the Hold Harmless provision is restored, Schuylerville still has a $1.8 million budget deficit for the 2024-25 school year (detailed by the projected expenses listed above.) 

Public Hearing

A public hearing on the proposed 2024-25 budget will be held May 7 at 6:00 p.m. in the Schuylerville High School Auditorium. If you have any questions prior, please contact Acting Superintendent James Ducharme or Assistant Superintendent for Business, Christine Burke.

Board of Education Election

During the May 21 annual budget vote, voters will elect two members to the Schuylerville CSD Board of Education for five-year terms beginning July 1, 2024. The seats are currently held by Joanna Crowley and Shaun Cumm. Interested candidates should contact District Clerk Jennifer Tompkins via email at tompkinsj@schuylerville.org or (518) 695-3255, ext. 3242 for a candidate profile that is due Monday, April 22 by 5:00 p.m.

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