SOUTH GLENS FALLS — The school district released the first draft of its 2019-20 budget on Monday with few alterations to last year’s version.

The budget is expected to go up just over 3 percent from last year to a total of around $58.3 million.

The tax levy is expected to come in at 4.37 percent, which will be lower than the threshold cap of 4.76 percent, so no super-majority will be needed to pass the budget in May if it remains close to this version.

Business Manager Audrey Varney presented the preliminary numbers to the school board and public on Monday night and said there were no major changes.

“Most everything is a complete rollover from last year,” Varney said.

The budget is not done, as adjustments may need to be made based on the state budget, expected to be passed in April. The main differences come from an increase in BOCES costs across the board, but actual expenditures will be calculated once the final BOCES services report is finished.

Other additions were made for new athletic benches and two new custodians needed for the nearly 30,000 new square feet of space added in recent capital projects.

Special Education saw a few tweaks to its funds, with changes mostly due to reallocation rather than additions. One addition was made though, for a new secretary position because the district currently only has one person in that role. Special Education Director Kathy Kieffer said it is unheard of for a district the size of South Glens Falls to have just one special education secretary.

The Athletic Department met recently to discuss buying a new scoreboard for the 2020-21 year, but for this year’s budget only called for the new benches and a slight bump in the pool for sports uniforms.

The Athletic Department also requested extra funds for sideline help during football games and impact concussion testing to make sure students who suffer concussions are ready to return, a measure Athletic Director Nick McPartland said is well worth the cost.

In transportation, a bus purchase proposition would buy two 72-person, two 66-person and two 30-person buses and phase out older models in the fleet. A new bus driver hire would also have custodial duties for part of the day.

The district’s contribution rate to the teacher retirement system fell by more than 1 percentage point this year because of strong returns from pension funds. The district will save more than $100,000 in contributions next year, but could see an increase in the 2020-21 budget if returns do not stay high.

The exact numbers and rates can be found on the school district’s website.

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Samuel Northrop is the education reporter for The Post-Star. He can be reached at snorthrop@poststar.com.


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