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March 24, 2018
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Stillwater News

Voters to consider $22 million budget on May 21

Updated May 16, 2013 – On May 21, Stillwater Central School District residents will vote on a proposed $22,014,251 budget for the 2013-14 school year. The board of education unanimously adopted the budget proposal at its meeting on Tuesday, April 9.

If voters approve the spending plan, the tax levy—the total amount of money a school district can raise through property taxes—would increase by 1.93 percent. This increase is below Stillwater’s maximum allowable tax levy as determined by the state’s tax levy cap formula, requiring approval by a simple majority of voters to pass (50 percent plus one).

After a spending decrease in the current year, the 2013-14 proposal increases spending by $907,591, or 4.3 percent.

“It was our goal to craft a budget that maintains programs for our students at a price that our taxpayers can afford,” explains Superintendent of Schools Dr. Stanley Maziejka. “We’ve tried to take a conservative approach to budgeting over the past several years, and this year was no different.”

The proposal calls for $25,000 in reductions, achieved by eliminating an assistant strength coordinator position, three Schedule B (after school) clubs, and the purchase of new sports uniforms. The proposed budget also includes approximately $100,000 in new spending to fund more professional development to support implementation of the Common Core State Standards, higher tuition costs for special education placements, and an anticipated retirement incentive.

When budget development started, the district faced a $1.1 million gap between anticipated expenditures and revenues for next year, mostly due to significant increases in health insurance and employee pension costs and state aid that has not kept up with the rising cost of education. In addition to the proposed spending reductions, growth in the district’s Global Foundries PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) and additional aid included in the final state budget adopted in April helped to shrink the gap. The board of education then decided to allocate $564,413 from the undesignated fund balance and generate the remaining revenues through property taxes.

“We worked hard to reduce where we could, and are fortunate that the revenues from our PILOT agreement and the additional aid we expect to receive have forestalled the need to make devastating cuts across our programs,” Maziejka adds.

Also on May 21, voters will elect three members to the board of education, decide on a $100,000 capital project proposition to repair the HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems at the elementary school, middle school and transportation building, and decide on a $245,000 proposition to replace four school buses. Learn more about additional propositions

More budget details are available on the district's budget page and residents will receive a budget newsletter in early May. Residents are also encouraged to attend the public hearing on Tuesday, May 7, at 6:30 p.m. in the MS cafeteria.

Anyone who is a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old and a resident of the district for at least 30 days prior to May 21 is eligible to vote on the school budget. Voter registration is also required. Stillwater residents who have voted in the general election within the last three years are already registered. There will also be a Voter Registration Day held on Tuesday, May 7, from 12 noon to 4 p.m. in the district clerk’s office, 1068 North Hudson Avenue. Proof of identification and residency is required.

Absentee ballot applications will also be available on the district website in mid-April for those who are unable to vote in person and who meet the requirements for absentee voting. If you have any questions, contact Mary Sgambati, District Clerk, at 373-6100, ext. 30022.

Visit the Budget Q & A page for more information.

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