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2019-20 school budget vote slated for May 21
On Tuesday, May 21, Unadilla Valley Central School District residents are slated to vote on a proposed $22.1 million budget for the 2019-20 school year.
 
The plan has a tax levy increase of $67,348, or 1.56 percent, which meets the tax levy limit. The tax levy is the overall amount of taxes collected on all properties within the district. Because the district is not exceeding the tax levy limit, or cap, only a simple majority vote of 50 percent plus one is needed to pass the budget.
 
The proposed budget has an overall spending increase from the current year of $1.9 million or 9.42 percent. The bulk of this spending increase is related to state aid-funded bond payments for a building project passed by voters in May 2015 and completed in 2018. A 2.4 percent increase in Foundation Aid, which is the major discretionary funding category of state aid, will enable the district to continue all academic programming and meet increased special education and academic intervention needs.
 
“Unadilla Valley, like many rural schools in New York, is seeing significant increases in students who struggle with social, emotional and academic requirements,” Superintendent Robert Mackey said. “This budget would help us leverage our current staff through targeted professional development, as well as hiring new staff to better meet the educational needs of our students. It would also help ensure we can do this in the safest environment we can.”
 
Under this budget, the district would also seek to increase the frequency of the late bus from two days a week to four. This will allow for more after-school activities through clubs and organizations that carry little or no direct cost to the district. An increase in summer school programming is also planned.
 
“Providing more extracurricular and summer opportunities to students in rural New York will have benefits for families who may not otherwise have the means to provide enriching activities for their children,” Mr. Mackey said.
 
In order to ensure the district is operating as efficiently as possible, a review of supplies and equipment, as well as services provided from outside the district, was conducted and reductions were made where possible. Voters will also elect three school board members and decide on a bus lease proposition, which, if approved, would have no impact on the local tax levy.
 
Polls will be open from noon to 8 p.m., Tuesday, May 21, in the district office lobby at 4238 State Highway 8, in New Berlin.