A path forward for Johnstown School District

Local

JOHNSTOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Voters in Johnstown have passed the revised school budget after the initial budget, carrying a 35% tax levy increase, was defeated. The revised budget passed with more than 60% of the vote, putting the school district on the path forward despite a steep climb ahead.

A deeply emotional and divisive issue has been settled, at least for now, with the passage of the Johnstown School District budget.

“I was very glad to see that last night’s vote passed that we do have a little bit of hope left,” said senior student Zach Vosbugh. The revised budget carrying a 14.6% tax levy increase passed. It was Vosburgh’s first time voting.

“Now we have to continue it, we have to preserve these programs and helps fundraise,” he said.

Vosburgh is entering the Marine Corps once he graduates next week and worries about the future of his school, as sports and extracurriculars have been slashed and 19 teachers cut.

“My music instructor, he taught me so much not even just about music but about life. To see someone like that at risk of losing their career possibly, that’s too bad,” he said.

It’s a busy day for Superintendent Dr. Patricia Kilburn, but News10 caught her between meetings and she was upbeat.

“I feel like we are taking our first steps forward and we’re taking them together,” she said.

The budget only covers transportation for athletics, and the community will have to raise more than 300,000 dollars to restore all sports.

“But I am confident that we will be able to offer sports how much of the full roster will depend on how much we raise,” said Superintendent Kilburn.

She says sports should be back in the budget next year, contingent on another 14% tax levy increase.

“We are not out of the woods, our tax levy is extremely low and it does need to be built up and it has to happen clearly over time,” she said.

A long term plan to maintain the high school where Vosburgh hopes students have the same positive experience that’s led to his goal of one day serving his community as a police officer.

“I wouldn’t give it up for the world, I want to give back to what’s given to me,” he said.

There is a sports fundraising event happening Wednesday at the auditorium at 6:30. The goal is to raise 200,000 dollars.

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