Johnstown passes school budget revote

Local

JOHNSTOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Greater Johnstown School District held a school budget revote on Tuesday.

Residents were asked to reconsider a $38.97 million proposed spending plan for the 2020-21 school year. It passed with 1,382 in favor and 731 opposed – a margin of 65%. Because the proposed 5.0% tax levy increase exceeds the district’s state-calculated “cap,” a supermajority (60%) was required for passage.

The proposed budget includes a 2.92% spending increase and a tax levy increase of 5%, which is above the district’s calculated tax levy “cap.” A supermajority of voters (60%) is required for budget approval.

The proposed budget addresses the district’s educational priorities by enhancing services for struggling learners, ensuring academic intervention services (AIS) will be taught by at least two teachers per school and by placing a certified library media specialist at each school.

Also included in the spending plan is the addition of a district social worker and an assistant principal for grades 7-8 as part of the reconfiguration plan. It reinstates athletics to the 2018-19 program level and restores field trips and extracurricular activities.

The decision to represent the originally voted on budget came after speaking with the community and the fact that the budget narrowly failed by 3%.

Assistant Superintendent Ruthie Cook said the audit committee will hold public meetings throughout the year to review spending and ensure the district is fiscally on track.

Under an approved budget with a 5% tax levy increase, the average taxpayer with a home assessed at $100,000 could expect to see their tax bill increase by approximately $80.65 per year, or about $1.55 per week.

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