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Proposed plan enhances programs with a projected tax rate increase of less than one percent

Board of Education adopts $96.6 million spending plan for 2016-17

April 22, 2016—On Tuesday, May 17, Guilderland Central School District residents will head to the polls to vote on a $96,590,045 budget for the 2016-17 school year. The proposed budget, adopted by the Board of Education on April 12, includes an increase in spending of $2,900,445, or 3.1 percent, over the current year’s budget. If approved by voters, it would result in a 1.35 percent tax levy increase in the coming year—below the district’s maximum allowable tax levy limit as calculated under the state’s “tax cap” formula.

Due to projected assessment growth within the district, tax rates are estimated to increase by less than one percent, at 0.74 percent, for residents of the school district.

End to Gap Elimination Adjustment provides some fiscal relief for district
An increase in state aid that included full restoration of the Gap Elimination Adjustment provided significant additional revenue for 2016-17 school year. For the past six years, Guilderland – like districts throughout the state – has faced unprecedented financial challenges, including the loss of $21 million in state aid due to the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA).

On April 1, 2016 state lawmakers approved a 2016-17 state budget that put an end to that reduction altogether, meaning Guilderland will now receive the additional $1,366,949 the governor had originally intended to cut.

“Guilderland Central School District will never recover the more than $21 million it lost since 2010, but the end to the GEA will enable us to move forward and offer more opportunities and support for our students,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marie Wiles. “We are very thankful for that.”

The proposed budget adds programs and services for students that are in line with the district’s ability to sustain the additions over time.

“In making budget decisions, we do our best to estimate what may be in store in future years, from enrollment to the consumer price index to the trend in retirement costs,” said Dr. Wiles. “The proposed plan residents will vote on this May addresses what we foresee as student needs in the coming school year, and keeps an eye on the future.”

A closer look at the proposed spending plan
While staffing levels would decrease in some areas, Dr. Wiles said, included in the proposal is the net addition of 13.85 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions. This includes a 3.1 FTE reduction at the elementary level to reflect enrollment changes and the addition of 2.3 FTE teachers at the middle school and 3.85 FTE at the high school. The budget also includes 5.0 FTE teaching assistants and 5.8 FTE for pupil services throughout the district.

The proposed spending plan would maintain all current programs and services for students and includes a few additions to programs and services based on new mandates, district priorities, and/or recommendations from program leaders.

Among the proposed additions included in the budget plan for 2016-17 are:

For more information:
The public vote on the 2016-17 budget will be held on Tuesday, May 17, 2016. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at all district elementary schools.
View more voter information

Additional information about the proposed 2016-17 spending plan, bus proposition, and Board of Education candidates, will be mailed home to all district residents in early May as part of the special addition budget newsletter.
To learn more now, visit our School Budget News home page