Initial budget proposal seeks to expand programs

Budget workshop scheduled for Feb. 15

Expanding pre-kindergarten, VP Tech and Project Lead the Way programs, and restoring computer science and business classes, are among the components of the initial budget proposal presented to the Herkimer Central School Board of Education by Superintendent Robert J. Miller on Jan. 31.

Miller’s initial proposal calls for a $25,360,000 budget, an increase of 3.7 percent over the previous year’s spending plan, but the district will work to bring that increase to 3 percent or less in the final proposal. Miller said that additional funding from the state included in the final state budget could reduce the tax levy further.

In February, the district will calculate its tax levy limit. Sometimes called a “tax cap,” the calculated tax levy limit is the highest allowable amount (before exclusions) that a school district can propose for which only the approval of a simple majority of voters — 50 percent plus one — is required. 

Miller said the district anticipates using $550,000 in fund balance to support the 2018-19 budget, but that the state is still falling short on its commitment to provide schools with equitable funding through the foundation aid formula enacted a decade ago.

“The state’s inability to do so has placed an inequitable burden on local resources,” Miller noted.

The board will discuss the spending proposal further during a budget workshop scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15. More information about the budget development process is available on the Budget & Taxes page.

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