Voorheesville school district budget up 4.7% for next year

— Photo from Mary LeClair

Voorheesville Elementary School Principal Jeff Vivenzio is surprised on Thursday, April 25, by students gathered in the school’s gym to celebrate his being named Principal of the Year by the Capital Area School Development Association.

NEW SCOTLAND — The Voorheesville School Board recently voted to place a $34.5 million 2024-25 school year budget before voters on May 21.

A public hearing on the proposed spending plan, which is technically up over 14 percent from this year due to a one-time, already-accounted-for $3 million capital project outlay, is set for May 13. 

But in an apples-to-apples comparison — meaning absent the one-time $3 million allocation — next year’s proposed budget is up about 4.66 percent over this year’s $30.1 million plan.

With each municipality’s tentative tax rolls being released just this week, “it will take a few days to figure out the impact,” Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations James Southard told The Enterprise by email this week. 

Southard noted next year’s rates will be calculated and included as part of the district’s May 13 public hearing on the proposed budget. 

This year, New Scotland, Guilderland, and Berne property owners in the district pay a true or full value rate of $15.37 per $1,000 assessed value. 

The district will increase its levy to the maximum allowable limit for next year, about $21 million, a 3.75 percent bump over this year. 

In calculating next year’s proposed budget, Voorheesville figured on about $9 million in state aid, but the actual number in the executive budget was $9,367,039 while the state’s approved spending plan allocated $9,387,939.

Voorheesville’s budget was finalized after the state adopted its plan, but “the increase was very minor between the Governor's budget amount and the final legislative budget amount for Voorheesville,” Southard said by email. “If there is an adjustment to be made, that will happen in August when the board sets the tax levy.”

Southard went on to say, “The proposal to the public notes that we are going to the tax cap amount and we will be within the tax cap amount when the levy is set.”

The district will be maintaining all current positions and programs, Superintendent Frank Macri told school board members on April 9, while also adding a third day of BOCES communications services.

But one thing stricken from next year’s proposed budget is a full-time school resource offer. “We are taking out the SRO, as we’ve already discussed, that’s not going in,” Macri said; an SRO had been budgeted for in the district’s draft budget. “But in that place, we’re putting a part-time AIS [academic intervention services] math teacher at the elementary school to address the deficiencies that we’ve seen, and also a security hall monitor for the secondary campus .…”

On the expenditure side, the district’s largest outlays are set to be:

— Salaries, at $15.1 million, up 4.3 percent from this year;

— Medical and dental insurance, at $6 million, an increase of 4 percent from this year; 

— Board of Cooperative Educational Services payments, at $3.2 million, an 3.5 percent increase over this year;

— Contractual payments, at $2 million, up 0.6 percent; and 

— Retirement payments, at $1.65 million, an increase of 12.2 percent from this year. 

Also on the ballot is Voorheesville’s annual bus proposition, the two 72-passenger vehicles come with a cost of $350,000, two-thirds of which will come back to the district in the form of state aid. 

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