On Tuesday, May 17BH-BL residents approved the 2016-17 school budget by a vote of 1342 to 424 with a margin of 76 percent. Residents also elected Patrick Ziegler and incumbent Jennifer Longtin to serve on the board of education for the next three years. The results are as follows: Jennifer Longtin with 891 votes, John Kelch with 533 votes, Patrick Ziegler with 942 votes, and Lee-Ann Mertzlufft with 830 votes. Thank you for voting!
In addition to voting on the 2016-17 school budget vote on Tuesday, May 17 residents may also elect two candidates to the BH-BL Board of Education. On May 10, a Meet-the-Candidates night was held for residents to learn more about the four candidates vying for the two seats. Follow these links to read about the candidates and watch a recording of the event. [CANDIDATES] [RECORDING] [NEWSLETTER]
The board hosted its second Budget Forum on Tuesday, April 12 where school leaders outlined the nearly complete proposal for 2016-17 that carries a tax levy increase of 1.32%, which is below its maximum allowable 'tax cap,' and results in an estimated 0.65% tax rate increase. The proposed budget is expected to be adopted at the April 19 board meeting, and put to public vote on Tuesday, May 17. A detailed budget newsletter will be mailed to residents in early May. Don't forget to vote. [RECORDING OF PRESENTATION]
On Friday, April 1, New York lawmakers approved a 2016-17 state budget that includes an overall $1.5 billion – or 6.5 percent – increase in education funding. The state budget ends the Gap Elimination Adjustment, which has diverted billions of dollars from schools during the last seven years. [FULL STORY]
On Tuesday, March 15 school leaders and the Board of Education presented the working 2016-17 budget at the first of two budget forums. If you were unable to attend, you can watch a recording of the presentation. [PRESENTATION]
At its Feb. 9 meeting, the BH-BL Board of Education continued its thoughtful conversation about the possibility of offering local veterans a partial property tax exemption similar to what municipalities already offer through ...[MORE]
BH-BL Superintendent Patrick McGrath spoke to Gazette reporters about what the Governor's education budget proposal means for BH-BL--the state will continue to withhold more than $600K in state aid through the GEA and foundation aid will be flat. Tough decisions lay ahead for district leaders if the GEA is not restored. In the meantime, we encourage residents to reach out to local legislators to ask for the elimination of the GEA now--not over a two-year period. [READ GAZETTE ARTICLE] [ADVOCACY INFORMATION]
At its Dec. 8 meeting, the Board of Education approved the 2016-17 Budget Calendar that includes important public dates, outlines the board's objectives and highlights the context for developing a budget for next school year. Please keep a copy of the calendar so you don't miss any important dates, such as the April 18 deadline for submitting board candidacy applications. [2016-17 BUDGET DEVELOPMENT CALENDAR]
On Tuesday, May 19 BH-BL residents approved the 2015-16 school budget by a vote of 1182 to 456 with a margin of 72 percent. They also approved the bus purchase proposition by a vote of 1265 to 374 and proposition 3 (appointment of an ex officio student member to the board) by a vote of 1205 to 424. Residents also re-elected incumbents Jennifer Bradt (1281) and James Maughan (1139) to the board for three-year terms. There were also 156 write-in votes. Thank you for voting!
If you were unable to attend the Meet-the-Candidates Night, you can watch the recording to learn more about the two incumbents who are running unopposed--Jennifer Bradt and James Maughan. [VIDEO RECORDING]
After several months of planning, the BH-BL Board of Education adopted a proposed budget for the 2015-16 school year Tuesday night. The public vote is Tuesday, May 19 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the high school gym. The proposed budget is $62.7 million and carries a tax levy increase of 2.68 percent and an estimated tax rate increase of 1.76 percent. Check your mail and the district website for upcoming budget publications and information.
School leaders and the board hosted the final 2015-16 budget forum on Tuesday, April 14, where they presented the nearly complete budget proposal, which included the proposed tax levy increase of 2.68%, the estimated tax rate increase of 1.76% and details of what's included in the budget proposal. If you were unable to attend in person a recording of the presentation is available. [FORUM RECORDING] [POWERPOINT PDF]
The Division of the Budget released state aid runs for school districts across the state today. It is being reported that the overall increase in aid for school districts is $1.33 billion, an estimated 6 percent increase. This includes an increase in Foundation Aid and a 58 percent restoration of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) statewide. However, BH-BL falls below the state average increase and is projected to receive a 2.7 percent increase in state aid in the 2015-2016 school year. [READ FULL STORY]
If you will be out of town or are physically unable to get to the voting polls for the annual school budget vote and board elections on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, you can apply for an absentee ballot. [LEARN MORE]
On Monday, March 23, a joint statement that addresses state budget negotiations, teacher evaluations and standardized testing was released by the BH-BL Board of Education, the Teachers' Association and district administration. [READ JOINT STATEMENT]
Two seats on the BH-BL Board of Education will expire at the end of the school year. If you are interested in running in May for a three-year term on the board, please stop by the district office, 50 Cypress Drive, Glenville, to pick up a petition and Board Candidate packet. Visit our board members' roles & responsibilities webpage to learn more about what it means to be a board member. If you have questions about Board Candidate packets, please contact Communications Specialist Tara Mitchell at 399-9141, ext. 85041 or email@example.com. Petitions are due no later than 5 p.m. on April 20.
The Assembly’s budget proposal includes a $1.8 billion increase in education aid — an $830 million increase over the high end of school funding in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget proposal. The Assembly’s budget proposal includes $23.95 billion total for school aid. The proposal calls for $1 billion in foundation aid, $456 million in gap elimination adjustment restoration (restoring nearly 50 percent of funding that has been cut) and an $80 million increase in universal pre-kindergarten aid ($40 million for New York City and $40 million for the rest of the state) that would bring total universal pre-K funding to $835 million. [FULL STORY]
School officials held their first--or preliminary--budget forum on Tuesday, March 3, where they shared the latest state and school budget news. Take a look at the slide and video presentations to learn more. [PDF OF PRESENTATION] [VIDEO OF PRESENTATION] As always if you have questions, please contact the Superintendent or Business Administrator. The next budget forum is Tuesday, April 14.
The New York State legislature recently amended state law to create an Alternative Veterans Exemption which gives school districts the option to exempt from school tax the residential property of certain veterans. [FULL STORY]
Budgets are never easy to draw up, but this year has taken the process to a new level of misery. Local school board members and school superintendents have to build a budget without knowing how much state aid they will or won’t get. Will they get a cut? Will they get more money than last year? [READ DAILY GAZETTE ARTICLE]
Under the Executive Budget Proposal outlined by Governor Andrew Cuomo on January 21, state funding for schools would increase by $1.1 billion next year – provided that state lawmakers go along with a series of changes that he described as “ambitious” in his combined budget address and State of the State message. [FULL STORY]
It's a new year and a new budget season for all NYS schools. And as such, BH-BL administrators and the board are gearing up for the 2015-16 budget development process. Community members are welcome to get involved in every step of the way as the board hosts public meetings and forums, and discusses the budget at their meetings. Take a look at the 2015-16 Budget Development Plan & Calendar to learn more. [PLAN & CALENDAR]
Recently, a few residents have asked us when the Property Tax Freeze Credit payments are expected to hit mailboxes. We do not know when the state will mail refunds. However, because BH-BL stayed below the allotted cap residents should receive a school tax freeze refund. We suggest you contact the Property Tax Freeze Credit department within the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance at (518) 453-8146.
The state's new two-year property tax reimbursement initiative is in effect for qualifying BH-BL taxpayers this year because the district's tax levy increase for the 2014-15 school year is below the maximum allowable tax levy limit of 2.29 percent. Homeowners who are eligible for STAR in 2014-15 will receive a credit from the state for a portion of school taxes paid after paying their school tax bills. Residents will still receive a school tax bill in September and will still need to pay their annual taxes under the program. [TAX FREEZE FAQ]
On Tuesday, May 20 BH-BL residents approved the 2014-15 school budget by a vote of 1620 to 587 with a margin of 73%. They also approved proposition #2 (to purchase land adjacent to the high school using previously approved funds from the renovations referendum) by a vote of 1702 to 504, and the bus purchase proposition by a vote of 1766 to 443. Residents also elected Peter Sawyer, incumbent John Blowers and Will Farmer to serve on the board of education for the next three years. The results are as follows: Matthew Schultz with 997 votes; Will Farmer with 1019 votes; Joe Pericone with 833 votes; John Kelch with 595 votes; Peter Sawyer with 1250 votes; and John Blowers with 1061 votes. Thank you for voting!
At the polls on Tuesday, May 20 residents will also be asked to elect three candidates to the board of education. There are six candidates running in this year's election. If you missed the Meet-the-Candidates Night on Monday, May 5 you can watch the recording. [WATCH VIDEO] NOTE: We were unable to record the candidates' opening statements. However, you can read their statements online. [OPENING STATEMENTS] Get to know the candidates: [MORE ABOUT THE CANDIDATES] [LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS' CANDIDATE INFO]
At its April 8 meeting, the board of education adopted the 2014-15 proposed budget that will go be before voters on Tuesday, May 20. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the high school gym. The proposed budget is $60,458,535 and calls for a tax levy increase of 1.94 percent, preserves current programs and services, and seeks to position BH-BL for a strong educational and financial future. The proposal represents a $1.4 million or 2.44 percent spending increase. In addition to the 2014-15 school budget, residents will be asked to consider a land purchase proposition (which carries no tax impact); a bus purchase proposition; and to elect three candidates to the board of education. A detailed budget newsletter is expected to be in mailboxes in early May. Scroll down the page for more budget-related information, to watch budget videos or to view past budget presentations.
At the April 1 Final Budget Forum, school leaders walked residents through the budget development process, explained BH-BL's current and future financial challenges, and discussed the mostly budget-neutral changes being proposed for next school year. If you missed the forum, you can watch a recording and view the presentation. [WATCH VIDEO OF FORUM] [DOWNLOAD PRESENTATION]
If you are unable to vote in person in the 2014-15 school budget vote on Tuesday, May 20, you may request an absentee ballot by completing and submitting an absentee ballot application. Contact District Clerk Christopher Abdoo at 399-9141, ext. 85025 to request an application or download the application here.
The BH-BL Board of Education passed a special resolution Tuesday night urging lawmakers to return control of local taxpayer funds to those locally elected representatives by eliminating the GEA and allowing for provisional, one-time exemptions from Wicks Law to school districts investing in STE(A)M initiatives. BH-BL has lost nearly $12 million to the GEA in the last four years, and the Wicks Law will cost the taxpayers of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake $5 million on the Oct. 2013 voter-approved referendum project. [DOWNLOAD RESOLUTION]
At the Feb. 27 Budget forum, nearly a dozen residents were in attendance and about 25 people participated online. Thank you for joining district administrators and the board of education to learn more about the budget process, hear an overview of the projected expenditures and revenues, learn about the impact the GEA has had on BH-BL and review the tax levy cap. Please continue to check the website for budget news. [BUDGET PRESENTATION] [VIDEO OF FORUM]
Last week, NYSSBA delivered a legislative priority paper on the Gap Elimination Adjustment to all 213 members of the state legislature. The paper detailed the devastating impact of the GEA on school districts through program cuts, staff reductions and loss of student opportunities. Given the Governor’s claimed state budget surplus, NYSSBA made it clear that this reduction in state aid for schools must end now. Now is the time to contact your state legislators by phone, email, fax and social media to help strengthen this vital message. Schools and local taxpayers alike continue to suffer because of the GEA and your elected representatives are the ones who have the ability to end these destructive cuts. [PRIORITY PAPER] [HOW DO I ADVOCATE FOR BH-BL?]
More than 1,000 people attended last night's roundtable discussion centered on Gap Elimination Adjustment--"NY Schools STILL in Fiscal Peril: Our Kids Can't Wait Another Year"--to hear students, teachers and school district leaders hammer the state for cutting education funding and to talk about the effects. Check out the related links below:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed investment in New York State schools would increase by $807 million or 3.8 percent next school year, but BH-BL will not benefit from that increase. In fact, the district’s state aid will essentially remain flat with only an estimated increase of $63,417 over the 2013-2014 figures. Additionally, his budget plan fails to address the underlying problem facing all New York school districts--the Gap Elimination Adjustment or GEA. [READ FULL STORY, VIEW VIDEOS]
In early December, the BH-BL Board of Education and district leaders began reviewing the current year's school budget and outlining the 2014-15 budget context and objectives. They also adopted the 2014-15 Budget Development Calendar. As this budget season progresses, more information will be posted here. All budget meetings are open to the public.
This May, voters will have the opportunity to elect three community members to the BH-BL board of education. If you are interested in running for the board, please pick up a board candidate nomination petition at the District Office. Petitions are due to the Clerk of the Board Christopher Abdoo no later than 5p.m. on Monday, April 21. Learn more about board member responsibilities and requirements here.