May 18, 2021
The budget and bus purchases were approved by the OESJ community tonight.
- The $21,297,061 2021-22 budget was approved by a vote of 176 to 34, a margin of 83.8% to 16.2%.
- The proposal to withdraw $165,000 from the district’s reserve to purchase buses was approved by a vote of 169 to 40, a margin of 80.8% to 19.2%.
Board member Shellie Walrath was re-elected with 155 votes and write-in candidate Anton Christensen received 39 votes.
PROPOSED 2021-22 BUDGET CONTAINS NO TAX INCREASE
The proposed 2021-22 school budget keeps taxes the same as the 2020-21 school year while maintaining all student programs.
While the Board of Education could have raised taxes by as much as 1.33% according to the 8-step state tax levy formula, board members opted to keep the tax levy increase to zero.
“We may not be able to keep the tax increase to 0% every year, but it seems especially important to do so this year,” said Superintendent Adam Heroth, noting that many families have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
OESJ, as did all other school districts, received a boost in state aid from the NYS budget. The state Legislature also promised to fully fund Foundation Aid over the next three years.
Though not included in this budget, federal stimulus funding for OESJ is in place to keep school finances in order until 2024.
Heroth noted that 59% of the budget goes for salaries and benefits and 11% is for debt payments.
The budget adds a Jr./ Sr. High School math and Spanish teacher, an elementary teacher and includes a health insurance premium increase of 13.5%.
The budget includes these reductions: transportation supervisor, special education teacher and two retirees from the fall have not been replaced.