Your vote is the most concrete feedback you can give on the GCSD budget

To the Editor:
On Tuesday, May 17, residents of the Guilderland Central School District will vote to approve a proposed $109,887,845 budget for the 2022-23 school year. The proposed budget plan calls for a $4,908,275 increase in spending over the current year’s budget.

If approved, the budget would increase the tax levy by 2.98 percent, which is within the district’s levy limit.

In addition, district residents will decide on a separate bus and equipment proposition to authorize the purchase of eight 66-passenger buses, three with chains, at a maximum estimated cost of $976,000. Approximately 50 percent of the bus purchase would be returned to the district in the form of state aid.

Voters will also elect four members to the board of education.

Like most school districts across New York state, the Guilderland Central School District faces a very unique budget landscape marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent cost concerns, as well as increasing inflation. Considering the complex nature of the 2022-23 school budget, we would like to clarify some of the factors that have shaped it:

— One-time federal funds

We are sure residents have heard about the influx of federal funding schools have received. While this is a tremendous benefit to our community, these funds must be used carefully and purposefully. The Guilderland Central School District has created a fiscally responsible plan to use these monies, separate and apart from the general operating budget.

While the general operating budget pays for the day-to-day operations of schools, which includes expenses like salaries, program costs, utilities, and maintenance, the federal funding is finite, meaning it will only last through the 2020-24 school years. The federal money is not intended to offset recurring costs, such as hiring permanent staff. If these funds are not managed carefully, the district could be left in a difficult financial position when they are exhausted.

The federal dollars can be used only for specific purposes, as defined by the federal government. These include addressing learning loss and upgrading materials and equipment. To date, a portion of the federal COVID relief funds the district has received has aided in our recovery from the pandemic. The funds have been used for academic intervention services, additional counseling support, tutoring, literacy lessons and teaching assistants.

In the coming school year, the district plans to use federal funds to purchase classroom books, Chromebooks, musical instruments, weight-room equipment and calculators. To learn more about the use of one-time, limited federal funds, visit;

— Rising costs

There’s no doubt the rising cost of goods and services takes a toll on the school district and the community as a whole. For example, due to the nationwide shortage of bus drivers, the district needs to hire private contractors to complete some bus runs.

Additionally, escalating fuel prices and needed upgrades to our cyber security measures added significant costs for next year. In light of these external forces, the district took a proactive, fiscally responsible approach in this spending plan and allowed for potentially increasing costs; and

— Educating the “whole” student

As a result of cost increases, the Guilderland Central School District must spend more to sustain and maintain programs currently in place to continue to meet the needs of our students. The district’s objective when developing a budget proposal for the upcoming school year is always to find the right balance between what our community can support and the cost of providing every student with the highest quality education.

The adopted spending plan makes it possible to lower class sizes in grade eight, a top priority parents and community members voiced in a recent school budget ThoughtExchange. The budget also supports the expansion of the Altamont Elementary School librarian position.

Importantly, this budget aligns with the district’s goals of educating the whole student, to ensure each and every student is ready and empowered to succeed in the future. The district remains committed to offering robust academics while preserving the extracurricular programs that contribute to the social and emotional well-being of our students, such as music, the arts and athletics. We recognize our community members have come to expect these opportunities and they may be the very reason why many have chosen to reside in Guilderland.

We hope this information gives district residents a clear understanding of the proposed spending plan for the 2022-23 school year. We encourage community members who may have questions to email

Our objective is to ensure that all residents have accurate, factual information to make the most informed decisions. For additional information on the 2022-23 school budget vote and board of education election, please visit

Most importantly, we urge all eligible voters to head to the polls on May 17. Your vote is the most concrete feedback you can give on the proposed budget. Please cast your ballot and let your voice be heard.

Seema Rivera



Gloria Towle-Hile

Vice President


Kim Blasiak

Rebecca Butterfield

Barbara Fraterrigo

Blanca Gonzalez-Parker

Kelly Person

Nathan Sabourin

Judy Slack


Board of Education

Guilderland Central

School District

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