On Tuesday, May 16, Owen D. Young voters will decide on a proposed $7,046,181 million budget for the 2023-24 school year — a spending plan that will maintain all student programs and services, extracurricular offerings, activities, and interscholastic athletics at their current level. 

Voting will take place from noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16 in the Founder’s Study Alcove at the Owen D. Young School. The proposed budget calls for a tax levy increase of 2.0% ($38,871), which is well under the district’s tax levy limit or “cap” of 7.29%. The proposed budget will only require a simple majority vote for approval (more than 50%) since the tax levy increase is below the cap. 

The budget continues funding to expand STEAM-focused programming that emphasizes science, technology, engineering, art, and math, through additional staffing and expanded courses in the areas of art and technology. The spending plan also supports the district’s commitment to the mental health of the school community, and continues to provide critical social and emotional support for students. 

After-school and summer programs that provide extra support for students will also continue at their current levels. The proposed budget will also continue to fund the district’s technology replacement plan, which ensures that all students have access to a digital device for learning. 

The spending plan includes $100,000 for a capital outlay project to incorporate LED lighting and repair/replace ceilings throughout the building. The district incorporates smaller capital outlay projects on a regular basis as a way to maintain the district’s facilities with smaller upgrades and repairs, to address deteriorating conditions that if neglected, can result in costly repairs in the future. The district receives state building aid for capital outlay projects, which helps limit the cost to local taxpayers. 

Overall spending in the proposed budget is increasing 7.94% ($518,181) from the previous year. This abnormally large spike is the result of three main factors: non discretionary expenses like salaries and benefits; inflation in utility costs like energy and transportation fuel; and a larger than normal contribution to BOCES ($262,560) to pay for the district’s share of a BOCES building project. 

“Everyone is feeling the effects of inflation right now, including school districts,” Superintendent of Schools Brennan Fahey said. “We’ve built this spending plan with that in mind and remain sensitive to the financial limitations of our community members. For next year, the district will fund almost 10% of the spending plan using fund balance (monies left over from previous years) for one time purchases to help absorb some of the inflation costs that the district is experiencing and keep the tax levy increase to a minimum, while ensuring that programs will not be hurt in the future,” he added. 

Public Budget Hearing: Community members are invited to attend a public hearing on the budget at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 8 in the school library to hear more information about the proposed spending plan for 2023-24. 

Absentee Ballots: Anyone who is listed as being permanently disabled will automatically be sent an absentee ballot to vote. Anyone else who would like to vote by absentee ballot will first need to request and complete an application. 

What Else is on the Ballot? 

BOARD OF EDUCATION: In addition to the budget vote, community members will elect two members to the Board of Education to serve three-year-terms. George Mower and Paul Kennerknecht are running as incumbents, and Amy Doody is running for the first time. Read more about these three candidates here:  https://bit.ly/42zXJzf 

LIBRARY BOARD: Voters will also select one candidate for the Jordanville Library Board. There is only one candidate running for the open position - incumbent Deb Bronner. 

LIBRARY BUDGET: Lastly, the community will vote to authorize the school district to collect an annual tax, separate from the school district budget, for the support and maintenance of the Jordanville Public Library. The district would collect $32,150, which is a 4.9% increase ($1,529) from last year.