Fund balance, increased state aid will be used for increase in budget
Pine Bush Central School District residents will vote on a $125,891,597 million budget on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, which includes a 3 percent decrease in the tax levy.
This budget is an overall increase of $4,304,440, or 3.54 percent, over the current year’s budget. However, the district is able to decrease the tax levy this year because of an increase in state aid and its use of fund balance.
The tax levy is the amount of money raised by taxes. Fund balance is money that was previously collected by the district but not appropriated.
This proposed budget includes an estimated $60,712,628 in state aid, an increase of $2.7 million from the current year. That, along with $3,572,877 in fund balance, will cover the increase in the budget.
“The projected increase in foundation aid over the next three years finally puts us in a position where we can adjust the local tax rate to be below the level of funding provided by the state,” said Superintendent Tim Mains. “Since the state is giving us more money, we believe we should be asking for less from our local taxpayers. This corrects a long-standing imbalance.”
For at least the past decade, local taxpayers have funded more of the district’s budget than the state provided. Prior to that, state aid regularly was more than the local share.
“We are fortunate to have enough in our reserves that we can lessen the burden on our taxpayers and still maintain a healthy fund balance,” said Superintendent Mains.
Accounting for pandemic learning losses
While schools have faced uncertainty since March 2020, and students have learned remotely and in a hybrid manner for a year, our school community has worked diligently to provide for our students’ educational needs.
“Our teachers and staff have dedicated themselves to providing the best education possible in very uncertain times,” said Superintendent Mains. “We expect the learning losses from the pandemic to be widespread and this budget will provide for that.”
The budget includes approximately $1 million to help the district address those learning losses through additional professional development and instructional programs and assessments to assist our students in the fall.
“This additional cost to address COVID learning losses accounts for more than a half percent increase in the budget,” said Mains. “It will be well worth what we spend.”
Here’s what to expect in 2021-2022
The adopted budget for 2021-2022:
- Continues the expansion of middle school foreign language
- Maintains the strong educational standards of Pine Bush
- Maintains current class sizes
- Continues formal funding of the district’s strategic plan
- Enhances special education services
- Continues the school resource officer program in all schools
- Replaces the track at the high school
- Provides relief for our taxpayers with a 3 percent decrease
The Pine Bush Board of Education adopted the 2021-2022 budget at its meeting on April 13, 2021.
A 3 percent decrease in the tax levy does not necessarily translate to an exact 3 percent decrease in taxes paid. It means the district will collect three percent less from taxes for the upcoming school year. Since our district spans seven towns, each town assesses its residents differently. Therefore, some residents may see slightly less or more than the 3 percent decrease.
Vote on May 18 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The community is encouraged to participate in the school budget vote and school board election on Tuesday, May 18, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Click here for the polling places. Registered voters may vote in person or request an absentee ballot.
Absentee ballots available for registered voters
Registered voters who would prefer to vote via absentee ballot must request one from the district clerk. Applications for an absentee ballot may be found here, or at the office of the district clerk, 152 Route 302, next to Pine Bush High School.
Complete the application and either mail it to the district clerk at PO Box 700, 156 Route 302, Pine Bush, NY 12566 or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications must be received by the clerk at least seven days before the election (May 11) if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter or the day before the election (May 17) if the ballot is to be delivered personally to the voter.
The district clerk must receive all completed absentee ballots no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 18, 2021.
Board of education candidates
Candidate petitions are due to the district clerk by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 19. There are two seats available on the Pine Bush Board of Education. The terms of office are for three years.
For more information about the budget vote, board of education election or voting via absentee, contact the district clerk at 845- 744-2031, ext. 4023 or email@example.com:.