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School board expects less state revenue ADVERTISEMENT

School board expects less state revenue

WATKINS GLEN--The Watkins Glen school board held its regularly scheduled May 4 meeting online Monday evening. The public meeting began at 6 p.m. with residents able to access the meeting from the school's website.
The board adopted the 2020-21 school year budget proposal that will go to voters June 9. In accordance with Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive order, all school district voters will vote by absentee ballot. Ballots will be sent to eligible voters with return postage. Anyone over the age of 18 who has resided in the district for 30 days prior to the vote is eligible. Also on the ballot will be a proposal for bus leasing and the election of school board members. Any eligible district resident wishing to run for the board should send a letter of intent to the district office by May 11. No petition signatures are required. The Watkins library will also conduct its budget and trustee vote on the same ballot.
The original $26,478,877 school budget proposal (with previous state aid levels) had no increase from the 2019-20 budget. However, the district is now assuming there will be a reduction of $500,000 in state foundation aid that will result in a 1.59 percent tax increase of $150,000.
The budget has three funding components with 69.1 percent for education programs, 18.4 percent for capital, and 12.5 percent for administration. While the district is facing a $271,881 increase in employee benefits (11.4 percent increase in healthcare premiums) and a $105,390 transportation increase (primarily because of the leasing of three new buses), retirements and program changes have negated overall budget increases. Schuyler Head Start will not be housed at the school in the coming year as the class will return to the Schuyler County Human Services Complex.
The board accepted a $5,000 grant from TC Energy in Reading Center for the transport of meals and instructional support during the COVID-19 closure and $100 donated by Louie and Vicki Perazzini, also for the transport of meals during the pandemic closure.
Board members went into executive session at 7:06 p.m.
The next school board meeting is scheduled for May 18 at 6 p.m. The online session can be accessed at

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