HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. — The Hoosick Falls Central School District’s $25 million budget vote is Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the high school gym.
The school district’s newsletter said the goal of the budget is to increase “opportunities while also supporting the academic well-being of students.”
The proposed budget is $25,348,933 and carries a 1.96 percent, or $191,800, tax levy increase over the prior year.
There are four propositions on the ballot: the budget, the purchase of school buses, expanding the scope of the capital project and adding a student to the Hoosick Falls Community School District Board of Education.
There are also three open seats on the Board of Education.
STAFFING AND PROGRAM CHANGES
The district intends to add two aides for special education. Four teaching positions will be replaced, as well as two support positions. The district also plans on adding to the salaries and expenses related to summer school.
Out-of-district placements and vocational classes, such as the Board of Cooperative Educational Services and the Career Development Center in Bennington, Vt., will see an increase.
BOCES is a program that provides educational opportunities to students, according to its website. The Career Development Center, also known as Southwest Tech, provides educational opportunities for students to learn vocational skills that can be added to their resume or college application.
The district plans to add three buses to its fleet — two 65-passenger buses with a storage box and one 24-passenger bus with wheelchair access.
While the buses could cost up to $335,000, the district will receive enough state aid to cover 90 percent of the estimated expense. The district's capital bus reserve will be used to offset the rest of the cost.
The adopted budget states there will be no impact to taxpayers relating to the new buses.
The capital project will “construct various health, safety and welfare improvements to the school,” according to the adopted budget. It will cost a maximum of $22,045,820. State aid and capital reserves will be used to offset the expense to taxpayers.
In March 2019, the town voted on and approved the capital budget. But, in October 2020, a sewer line broke in the parking lot under the school. The original project budgeting did not account for sewage and drainage concerns.
The new scope of the project will include all of the sewer and drainage system work, as well as replacing deteriorated walkways to maintain Americans with Disabilities Act standards.
New York state has also increased the minimum air exchange requirements because of health and safety concerns. The new scope of the project will include the upgrade of all office and classrooms ventilation.
ADDING A STUDENT TO BOARD
The town will also vote to allow a student to sit on the Board of Education as an ex officio, nonvoting member.
The district’s newsletter states, “Hoosick Falls CSD believes it is important to include student voices in its deliberations and supports adding a student to the Board of Education to provide regular and direct communication between the board and the student body.”
The student will not be able to attend executive sessions and not be allowed to see confidential information.
The student board member will be chosen at the end of the student's junior year and will sit on the board from July 1 to June 30 of senior year. The student is required to be in the district for at least two years.
BOE OPEN SEATS
Andrew Beaty, Rachel Boisvert and Joseph Patire’s terms will end June 30. Three candidates, Jena Case, Joseph Patire and Brian Keegan, are running unopposed for the open seats.
The winning candidates will begin their three-year term, running from July 1 to June 30, 2025.