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Oct 16, 2018
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Budget NEWS

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2017-18 Budget news and web posting archives
May 16, 2017

Residents approve 2017-18 school budget

On Tuesday, May 16 BH-BL residents approved the 2017-18 school budget by a vote of 1,094 to 323 with a margin of 77 percent. Residents also approved the proposition to reauthorize an ex officio student board member by a vote of 1,175 to 227. All three board candidates who ran unopposed were elected to the board: Peter Sawyer (1,152 votes), John Blowers (1,060 votes) and Don Marshall (1,127 votes.) Thank you for voting!

April 13, 2017

Board approves 2017-18 budget proposal

Budget Hearing May 2 and Budget Vote May 16

At its April 11 meeting, the BH-BL Board of Education approved the 2017-18 budget proposal that will go before voters on Tuesday, May 16. The proposed budget of $65.4 million carries a tax levy increase of 1.96 percent (which is below the tax cap) and an estimated tax rate increase of 1.58 percent. The proposal would maintain programs and staff, support the expansion of the district's Chromebook laptop computer initiative to include the high school (where students are assigned their own Chromebook laptop to use throughout the school year), add two sections of kindergarten to address the increased kindergarten enrollment, and include a new middle school schedule. A detailed budget newsletter will be mailed to residents in early May. [BUDGET INFORMATION]

January 10, 2017

2017-18 School Budget Development Calendar

School officials and the board have begun work on the 2017-18 school budget. The first order of business was the approval and adopion of the budget context, objectives and development calendar. The board uses this as a guide when building the budget, which goes before voters Tuesday, May 16. [DEVELOPMENT CALENDAR]


2016-17 Budget news and web posting archives



May 17, 2016

BH-BL 2016-17 budget passes

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!

May 11, 2016

Meet-the-Candidates Night recording available

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]

April 12, 2016

Board hosted 2016-17 Budget Forum

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]

April 4, 2016

2016-17 state budget includes $1.5 billion education funding increase, end to GEA

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]

March 15, 2016

2016-17 working budget presentation recording available

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]

February 10, 2016

BH-BL Board considers Veterans Tax Exemption for 2017-18 school year

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]

January 20, 2016

Capital Region school districts face uncertainty over Gap funds

For BH-BL, Gov.'s proposal withholds $600K in state aid through GEA, results in flat foundation aid

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]

December 9, 2015

Board approves 2016-17 Budget Development Calendar

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]

2015-16 Budget news and web posting archives
May 19, 2015

2015-16 school budget passes

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!

May 14, 2015

Meet-the-Candidates Night video available

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]

April 22, 2015

Board adopts 2015-16 budget proposal

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.

April 13, 2015

2015-16 Nearly Complete Budget Forum, April 14

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]

April 1, 2015

An outline of education reform proposals in state budget

Lawmakers passed the 2015-16 state budget late Tuesday night, which included adoption of education reform proposals. Here's a run down from Capital New York and EdSpeaks.

March 31, 2015

2015-16 Budget News

BH-BL receives limited reduction in GEA, minimal aid increase in other areas

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]

March 24, 2015

Absentee ballot applications now available  

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]

March 23, 2015

BH-BL Board of Education, BH-BL Teachers' Association and BH-BL District Administration release joint statement

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]

March 10, 2015

Two open board seats in May election

Petitions available at the district office

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 Petitions are due no later than 5 p.m. on April 20.

March 10, 2015

Assembly budget proposal includes a $1.8 billion increase in education aid

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]

February 26, 2015

2015-16 School Budget Forum, March 3

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.

February 26, 2015

Board update on Veterans Tax Exemption

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]

February 23, 2015school budget image
State aid unknown, budgets still due

School districts advised to have contingency plans

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]

January 22, 2015

Cuomo calls for $1.1 billion school aid increase tied to changes to APPR, with no mention of the GEA

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]

January 5, 2015

Budget development underway

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]

Property Tax Freeze Credit phone number

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.

State's Property Tax "Freeze" or Credit

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]


2014-15 Budget news and web posting archives
May 20, 2014

BH-BL 2014-15 budget passes

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!

UPDATED May 9, 2014

Board of Education Elections, May 20

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]

April 11, 2014

Board adopts 2014-15 proposed budget to go before voters Tuesday, May 20

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.

April 4, 2014

School leaders discuss proposed 2014-15 budget

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]

March 31, 2014

Absentee ballot applications available

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.

March 6, 2014

Board of Education passes GEA and Wicks Law resolution

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]

February 27, 2014

2014-15 Working Budget Forum presentation available

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]

February 10, 2014


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?]

January 31, 2014

Attendees at advocacy forum urge Governor to end GEA, support public education

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:

January 24, 2014

Governor’s budget proposal still maintains GEA, results in flat state aid for BH-BL

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]

January 7, 2014

BH-BL begins 2014-15 school budget preparations

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.

January 7, 2014

Three seats open on the board in May 2014

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.


Important Budget Videos

  • Advocacy--Our kids can't wait. New York schools are still in fiscal peril with five straight years of aid cuts and Gap Elimination Adjustments (GEA) crippling school districts. Take a look at this video shown at the Jan. 30 advocacy forum entitled “New York schools STILL in fiscal peril: Our kids can’t wait another year." VIEW VIDEO
  • Understanding NY State's GEA and What It's Doing to Our Schools. Do you understand New York State's Gap Elimination Adjustment, or GEA, and what it's doing to schools like ours? Take a look at this short video ... it explains it well! BH-BL has lost $11.7 million to the GEA over the last five years.

  • Understanding NY State's 2 % Tax Levy Cap
    Do you understand New York State's so called 2% tax levy cap? Well, it's not really a 2% cap at all. Take a look at this short video ... it explains it well!
  • Your Public Schools in Fiscal Peril ... Running Out of Time & Options. New York State schools are in fiscal peril with five straight years of New York State aid cuts and they are running out of time and options. Take a look at this short video ... it explains it well! VIEW VIDEO



Budget News in the News