On Monday, April 19, the members of the Board of Education voted to adopt a $78,811,376 proposed budget for the 2021-22 school year. Residents will vote on the proposed spending plan on Tuesday, May 18.
The proposed plan calls for a $2,727,539 or 3.58% increase in spending over the current year’s budget. If approved, it would result in a zero percent tax levy increase in the coming year. Because the tax levy remains below the district’s legal limit of 2.11% as defined by New York’s tax levy cap legislation, a simple majority of voters (50% + 1) is needed to pass the budget.
What’s new for 2021-22?
The budget maintains all existing staffing and services and includes funding that will reinstate the 5 p.m. bus run that was eliminated this year due to budget constraints. In addition, the proposed budget will add a full-time position in the instructional technology department in order to help address the district’s every-growing technology needs. This position is currently a part time contractual position.
Will we receive any state or federal funding?
The district is slated to receive an approximately 12.4% increase in state aid for next year. In addition to the state aid increase, the district will receive two one-time federal coronavirus relief packages approved by Congress: the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act and the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act. Goshen will receive $2,796,328. It’s important to note that this one-time federal aid will help the district in the near-term, but it’s unknown how the district will be financially affected once the aid expires.
According to the Governor’s office, 20% of the federal funding, or $559,266, can be used over the next four years to address learning loss, academic remediation and students’ social and emotional needs due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The district is required to share how it will utilize this aid, as well as the additional foundation aid, on its website by July 1, 2021. More information will be provided to our school community as it unfolds.
What else is on the ballot?
In addition to the proposed budget, residents will vote to authorize the purchase of eight school buses: four 30-passenger buses at a maximum estimated cost of $61,000; three 66-passenger buses at a maximum estimated cost of $114,000; and one 7-passenger bus for $60,000 for an aggregate maximum cost of $646,000. If approved, approximately 60% of the $646,000 proposition would be covered by state aid.
District residents will elect three members to the Board of Education for three-year terms to fill the seats of Board members Martha Bogart, Judy Green and Jason Pucci, whose terms expire at the end of the school year.
The candidates who receive the most votes will be appointed to these positions. Their terms will commence on July 1, 2021 and expire on June 30, 2024.
The candidates are (in ballot order):
- Jason Pucci
- Shannon Johnson
- Judy Green
- Martha Bogart
- Joe Connell
- Billy Castellane
What if I can’t vote in person on May 18?
Qualified voters can request an absentee ballot if they will not be able to vote in person due to illness or physical disability, hospitalization, incarceration (unless incarcerated for a felony), travel outside the voter’s
county or city of residence for employment or business reasons, studies, or vacation on the day of election.
Additionally, it seems likely that voters may opt to vote via absentee ballot due to health/safety concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, New York State legislature is advancing bills that would allow this. Updates will be shared as soon as possible.
You must fill out an application in order to obtain an absentee ballot. View more information here about absentee ballots.
Will absentee ballots be mailed to registered voters like last year?
No. Absentee ballots will not be mailed to all registered voters as they were for last year’s unprecedented school budget vote. Qualified voters who
would need to vote by absentee ballot must submit an application.
Where can I find more information?
- More information about the proposed budget will be mailed to district residents within the next couple of weeks. Please be sure to check your mailbox for the budget newsletter and budget notice postcard.
- The Goshen Intermediate School PTO is hosting a virtual Board of Education Candidate Q&A on May 5. View more information about the virtual event.
- More information will be shared on the district website leading up to the vote on May 18.
- Call the District Office at 845-615-6720 with questions.