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Tough choices need to be made about your schools!

Feb. 3, 2016—This week, GCSD launched a website and survey to gather input from our community about how best to balance our 2016-2017 budget. There are several factors that have placed our school district, once again, in a difficult predicament.

First, under the Governor’s recently released budget, the level of proposed state aid for our school district is disappointing, at best. Under his plan, our basic operating aid, known as foundation aid, is flat compared to the current year. Further, the Governor’s budget restores only about 30 percent of the nearly $2 million dollars of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) owed to us. In fact, the aid the Governor proposed to support our students in 2016-2017 is still less than we received in 2008-2009.

Furthermore, the Consumer Price Index for 2015, a key multiplier in the calculation of our tax levy limit, is nearly zero percent. This means that the amount of revenue that the district can levy without seeking approval from a super-majority of voters is very small. It would be even smaller were it not for construction growth in the town of Guilderland.

Given these factors, our school district would exceed the tax levy limit next year just to maintain current programming. However, after careful review of the projected enrollment and needs of our students, our building and program leaders have identified several additional needed and/or mandated resources for 2016-2017.

In our survey, we are asking our community to think about four basic options that the district could pursue to balance our budget for next year. Those four options include: (1) making reductions to current programs and services, (2) denying requests for additional resources to support student needs and enrollment changes, (3) dipping into the district’s fund balance to make up any revenue shortfalls, or (4) challenging the tax levy threshold and presenting a budget that will require approval of a supermajority of voters.

Please take some time to visit the website at: http://www.guilderlandschools.org/district/budget/Problem-Solving-Options/index.cfm, and watch the brief informational videos and view supporting documents. Then click on our survey, which should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. The survey will remain open through Monday, February 15, 2016. 

 

Quadrant

 

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