Budget & Taxes

The school budget is the biggest investment the community collectively makes with its tax dollars. District leaders work to make the most effective use of resources to benefit students, to develop and manage the budget in a responsible and transparent manner and to be accountable to taxpayers.

Each spring the board of education adopts a budget for the coming school year for a community vote. New York state has designated the third Tuesday in May as the date for school budget votes.


2024-25 Budget Information

  • Total Budget: $125,192,817
  • Spending Increase: $5,420,623 (4.53%)
  • Tax Levy Increase: $2,198,863/2.74%
  • Gas Bus and Maintenance Vehicle Proposition: $1,281,000
  • Electric Vehicle Bus Proposition
  • Cobblestone Schoolhouse Proposition

The annual school budget and board of education elections will take place 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday, May 21at the elementary school in the voter’s residential zone.

GCSD Board of Education adopts 2024-25 proposed budget

The Guilderland Central School District Board of Education unanimously adopted a $125,192,817 spending plan for the 2024-25 school year during the Tuesday, April 16 board meeting. This represents a 2.74% increase in the tax levy, which is below the district’s maximum allowable tax levy limit. Learn more about the budget here.

Voters to decide on a replacement bus and equipment proposition

A separate proposition will appear on the May 16 ballot to purchase school buses and a maintenance vehicle, at a total cost of $1,281,000. The purchase would include six 65-passenger buses, three with chains and three without, one 24-passenger wheelchair bus, a maintenance truck and a skid steer.

Voters to decide on electric vehicle proposition

GCSD is proposing the purchase of two zero-emission electric vehicles, one 30-passenger and one-65 passenger, and one-2 charger. New York State has mandated by 2027 any school bus purchases made by districts must be zero-emission electric vehicles and by 2035 all buses in operation must be zero-emission electric vehicles. To begin to address this mandate, GCSD is proposing the purchase of two zero-emission electric vehicles.

To operate EVs there are many considerations for the district, including infrastructure and capacity. By adding two EVs to the fleet, the district would gain valuable experience and information. The transportation department would be able to evaluate how the EVs will perform under specific conditions, such as in cold weather or on hilly terrain, and mechanics and bus drivers would learn while testing the vehicles on the district’s bus routes.

To defray the cost difference between purchasing a conventional school bus and an electric bus, the district will take advantage of the NYSERDA’s New York School Bus Incentive Program (NYSBIP) voucher program. The voucher is awarded directly to the vehicle dealer, significantly reducing the cost.

There is an additional way the district can lower costs. Passed in April, the NYS budget enables school districts to receive aid on the previously mentioned NYSBIP voucher, up to the net cost. This means GCSD could count the voucher amount towards the calculation of aid. If purchasing one large EV bus, one small EV bus and one level-2 charger, the district would get back the full amount paid in aid the following year, therefore the net cost to the district would be $0.

Voters to decide on Cobblestone Schoolhouse proposition

The district proposes the transfer of a one-room, cobblestone schoolhouse, built in 1860, to the Town of Guilderland for $10,000. Because the property is not being sold at market value, a vote is required. The district has agreed to sell the historic structure, which requires much maintenance and upkeep, to the town so that it will be preserved for community use. The town will have access to grant funds to support this work.

Three candidates seeking three open seats on the board of education

On May 21, Guilderland votes will elect three members to serve on the Guilderland Central School District Board of Education.

Voter eligibility and absentee ballots

Voter registration is required in the Guilderland Central School District. Learn more about voter eligibility here. Absentee ballots applications are now available to eligible voters for the upcoming GCSD budget and board of education election on May 21. Learn more here.


2023-24 budget approved by voters; three candidates elected to board of education

On May 16, Guilderland Central School District voters approved a $119,772,194 proposed budget for the 2023-24 school year by a vote of 1,513 (yes) to 646 (no), a 70.08% approval. The budget carries a 8.99% increase in spending over the current year’s budget and will result in a 2.66% tax levy increase, which is within the district’s tax levy limit.

Bus Proposition

Residents also approved the purchase of six 65-passenger buses, two 35-passenger buses and one maintenance vehicle by a vote of 1,543 (yes) and 610 (no).

Board of Education Election

Three candidates sought election for three open board of education seats. They are:

Judy Slack 1,620 votes;
Rebecca Butterfield 1,607 votes;
Kimberly Blasiak 1,584 votes


2023-24 Budget Information

  • Total Budget: $119,772,194
  • Spending Increase: $9,884,349 (8.99%)
  • Tax Levy Increase: $2,119,547/2.66%
  • Bus Proposition: $1,206,600

2023-24 Budget Materials


2022-23 Budget 

  • Total Budget: $109,887,845
  • Spending Increase: $4,908,275 (4.68%)
  • Tax Levy Increase: $2,265,253 (2.98%)
  • Bus Proposition: $976,000

2021-22 Budget 

  • Total Budget: $104,979,570
  • Spending Increase: $1,946,875 (1.89%)
  • Tax Levy Increase: $962,403 (1.28%)
  • Bus, Vehicle and Equipment Proposition: $1,033,200

School Budgets in 60 Seconds

Watch the video below for a quick overview of how school budgets are developed in New York

State Foundation Aid Funding Plan

Introduction

The 2021-2022 enacted state budget included language stating that, for the 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years, each school district receiving a foundation aid increase of more than 10% or $10,000,000 a school year must post a plan of how the funds will be used to address student performance and need, including but not limited to:

  • Increasing graduation rates and eliminating the achievement gap;
  • Reducing class size;
  • Providing supports for students who are not meeting, or who are at risk of not meeting, state learning standards in core academic subject areas;
  • Addressing student social-emotional health; and
  • Providing adequate resources to English language learners, students with disabilities, and students experiencing homelessness.

For the 2022-23 school year, the Guilderland Central School District received a foundation aid increase of $2.5M.

As part of the budget development process for the 2022-2023 school year, the district engaged community stakeholders through a ThoughtExchange to seek advice on spending priorities to consider for the upcoming school year. More than 600 participants produced 582 thoughts and 29,638 ratings, resulting in the following top priorities from stakeholders: maintaining low class size, academic programs and staffing levels; focusing on student and staff mental health; support and appreciation for staff; school start and end times; and improving technology and facilities.

Following the release of the first draft of the 2022-2023 budget, the district hosted a question-and-answer session to address issues and concerns about the proposed spending plan. The spending plan that was adopted by the Board of Education on April 12 reflected the priorities shared by the community; the budget was ultimately passed with 68.42% approval. You can review the full budget here. Please contact Dr. Marie Wiles, Superintendent of Schools at superintendent@guilderlandschools.net if you have questions.

Increasing graduation rates and eliminating the achievement gap.

The district will maintain all current staffing and programs to close achievement gaps and to support students in the objective of successful graduation from Guilderland High School. Among the existing programs to increase graduation rates and eliminate the achievement gaps are Academic Intervention Services, co-taught classes, tutorial programs, and opportunities to meet with teachers after school. There are also summer school opportunities at Farnsworth Middle School and Guilderland High School.  Eligible Students with Disabilities can also participate in Extended School Year programming. At the elementary level, each school has a school based support team that meets to identify students who are struggling and to develop plans for intervention. Each building is staffed with a math specialist to support both teachers and students in that content area. Each building also offers reading support and intervention for students who are below benchmark in reading.

Also, the 2022-2023 school budget includes the addition of a Director of Technology to lead a process to define and communicate a vision for technology into the future, provide leadership to assure network security, provide supervision and coordination of technology personnel, needs and resources.

Reducing class size.

The 2022-2023 budget focuses on providing the highest quality education, to ensure each and every student is ready and empowered to succeed in the future. The spending plan makes it possible to address the priorities of stakeholders by offering a phased in class size reduction at Farnsworth Middle School. The 2022-2023 school year will see a transition from 14 homerooms in grade eight to 16 homerooms. The budget includes 2.8 FTEs to execute the transition to 16 sections.

Providing supports for students who are not meeting, or who are at risk of not meeting, state learning standards in core academic subject areas.

The district will continue to fund all programs and services that provide additional support for students who are not meeting, or who are at risk of not meeting, state learning standards in core academic subject areas. Some of those supports include: Academic Intervention Services in math, science, social students and English; additional math support sessions; co-taught classes in ELA, social studies, Algebra 1, Geometry, Biology, and Earth Science for students with disabilities and English language learners (ELLs). There is also Academic Tutorial Support, Resource Room Support, our Focus Program (in-house alternative education), APEX Credit Recovery options as well as alternative education options located at South Colonie CSD.

In addition, the spending plan for the 2022-2023 school year also expands the the Altamont Elementary School librarian from .6 FTE to .8 FTE.

Addressing student social-emotional health.

The district will continue to fund all programs and services that address student social-emotional health. The framework for those programs and services is articulated in comprehensive school counseling programs. These supports include social workers and school counselors who (at the elementary level) conduct classroom lessons on topics like fostering resilience, coping skills, mindfulness, self regulation, etc. There are also school psychologists located in all school buildings who conduct evaluations, assist with the CSE process, serve on crisis teams, etc.

The district has an on-site mental health clinic located at Farnsworth Middle School. This clinic is available by referral to all GCSD students and their families. Also at FMS, students are assigned to a “House” (a school within a school) which includes a House Principal and House Secretary. Teachers work in teams and have daily planning time to discuss student needs and plan accordingly to meet those needs.

The district also has a long standing social service animal program with service dogs in all seven buildings. Guilderland High School and Farnsworth Middle School also offer a host of programs to support students, including, Sources of Strength (Suicide Prevention), Training for Understanding (Anti-Bias) and numerous co-curricular clubs, such as Alliance, Muslim Students Union, Jewish Students Union, Black Student Union, etc.

Providing adequate resources to English language learners, students with disabilities, and students experiencing homelessness.

The district will continue to fund all programs and services to support our English Language Learners and students with disabilities, including push-in and pull-out services, and a co-teaching model of instructional delivery across most of the district. In addition, the district offers extended school year programming for qualifying students with disabilities, and a three-week summer program for ELLs. These summer programs are in-person and transportation is provided.


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