Community members share thoughts on budget

man speaks before audienceParent, students, teachers, alumni – all shared their thoughts and ideas with Schoharie Board of Education members and administration at the March 1 Community Budget Forum.

Schoharie Superintendent David Blanchard welcomed all to the forum and provided a big picture overview of the district’s budget challenges for the 2018-19 school year, including the governor’s proposed level of state aid vs. the need to grow and maintain quality educational programs and services. He also noted that the district is looking at an opportunity to purchase property on Prospect Street adjacent to the school to address parking issues.

group discusses at a tableBusiness Official Sarah L. Blood presented a look at the district’s Preliminary 2018-19 School Budget, including expenses, revenues and a $386,902 gap to be addressed. Under the governor’s budget, the district’s overall projected aid increase is just .74 percent and its tax levy limit is 1.34 percent.

Forum participants then broke out into small groups for a facilitated discussion about the budget, tax levy limit (cap) and their thoughts and ideas. They spoke about what they valued most about Schoharie, what it has to offer students and the need to preserve and support those offerings.

Board of Education members joined in the groups, and Blanchard and Blood answered questions and provided clarification as needed. District leaders thank all who participated in the Community Budget Forum.