On Tuesday, May 17, Herkimer Central School District residents will vote on a $28,502,714 proposed budget for the 2022-23 school year. For the second consecutive year, the budget will result in a o percent tax increase.
While spending will increase 7.91 percent due to increased staff salary and benefit costs and BOCES program increases, the use of fund balance, employee and teacher retirement system reserve funds, and a strong state aid package has enabled the Board of Education to propose a budget that allows the district to keep and improve on present programs and services without the need for additional tax revenue.
Voters will also elect three representatives to the Board of Education, vote on a capital reserve fund proposition, and will vote on the public library budget and library board of trustees.
“I’d like to give credit to the Governor and the Legislature for giving us a strong aid package,” said Interim Superintendent Gary Tutty. “We are often quick to complain when our aid is not adequate to meet our expanding needs. Yet, in this case, our government officials have responded to not only the normal challenges our district has to face, but to the added pressures put upon schools during the pandemic.”
Tutty also credited the leadership of the BOE and staff during the budget development process.
“These past few years have been incredibly difficult, but through the leadership of the Board of Education and a dedicated staff, this budget is just another example of the balance the district has been able to achieve between meeting the needs of our students and meeting their responsibility to our taxpayers,” he added.
The proposed budget contains funding for a $100,000 capital outlay project that includes network infrastructure and access control improvements at the elementary school. It also preserves existing instructional and extra-curricular programs and includes restorations to programs at both the elementary and Jr./Sr. High School.
At the elementary school, the proposal includes the reinstatement of Academic Intervention Services (AIS) and the implementation of new student clubs, instrument lessons in grades 3-5, swim instruction for grade 2, and additional technology instruction.
At the Jr./Sr. High School, the proposed budget includes the restoration of a physical education teacher, science teacher, and a shared language teacher.
It also maintains social-emotional support services, sustains enrichment opportunities and academic support services at the middle school, and sustains and develops elective opportunities.
District leaders have also set a goal to promote and reinstate various sports teams such as boys tennis, golf, and volleyball, and modified field hockey and girls tennis.