The Shenendehowa Board of Education adopted the 2019-20 budget. Residents to vote May 21…

Written by on April 10, 2019

Shenendehowa residents will vote on May 21 on a proposed $177.7 million budget for 2019-20 that includes a spending increase of 2.33 percent ($4,046,444). The tax levy increase of 2.52 percent is below the tax cap of 3.97 percent. The true value tax rate would decrease .602% per $1000. A property with a market value of $250,000, would see a reduction of $26 in the tax bill.

Program/Facility enhancements
Each year, there are many different budget requests for potential program enhancements. These proposals and/or requests for funds are reviewed and analyzed based on the following value-added indicators:
• Engagement – Student voice and choice to foster a passion for learning
• Innovation – Personally relevant learning opportunities
• Cultural Competence – Equity in opportunities and outcomes
• Global Collaboration – Self-directed, civic-minded learners
• Collective Work and Responsibility – School and community partnerships
The proposed 2019-20 budget preserves current programs and services. It provides for some key program enhancements to support personalized, innovative and creative experiences, and improve student and staff safety. Some specifics include:
• Expansion of the K-Jumpstart program piloted in 2018-19 to help selected students better transition into kindergarten.
• Additional 2.5 teachers to address class size/composition in high school science and social studies; middle school music lessons; and elementary art, music and physical education.
• Potential addition of new allied health course for students looking to go into the health services field.
• Additional staff to address equity in outcomes for English as a New Language (ENL) learners at the high school; expansion of the high school’s ASPIRE Program (alternative education) to High School West; and accelerated math at the elementary level.
• Additional staff in athletics to start a girls golf team and expand the swim program to include a co-ed modified team.
• Funds to start a Pep Band (equipment/instruments)
• Addition of a special education administrator to address increasing demands.
• An increase in funding for Future Ready Grants for teachers, allowing them to apply for funds to implement innovative classroom practices.
• Additional funds for various professional development for staff; expansion of instructional coach to gr. 6-12; K-8 reading; kindergarten programming; TCI (Therapeutic Crisis Intervention) training for special education aides; and bus driver safety training.
• Expansion of the 1:1 classroom Chromebooks for grade 4 across all eight elementary schools.
• Funds for safety improvements include an increase in high school monitors; digital radios; and automatic lockdown renovations.
• Reallocation of Capital fund Transfer to Capital Outlay Project to address Arongen roof repairs.

Mandatory Costs
With New York State’s implementation of the tax levy cap, which essentially caps school district expenditures, building a budget begins by identifying legal and contractual obligations while staying at or below the cap. These include:
• Increase in charter school enrollment, $39,000
• Funds for science kit rentals to meet the Next Gen Standards, $200,000 (currently $28,000).
• Impact in pension costs due to contribution rate changes – reduction in TRS (Teacher Retirement System) – $883,000, increase in ERS (Employee Retirement System), $117,000
• Increase in health/dental insurance, $209,000.

Cost Savings
As with every budget the district looks to offset cost increases with cost reductions. For 2019-20, this includes:
• Reduction in costs due to 13 instructional retirements (-$538,600)
• Retiring debt (-$500,000)
• Combining two central office staff positions into one (-$80,000)
• Reduction in IMS (Information Management Systems) contracts and supplies (-$49,000)
• Reduction in transportation contracts (-$48,000)
• Elimination of substitute callers (-$15,000)

2019-20 Budget Flyer