Voters approve $72.91 million budget; elect board members

May 15, 2018

Greater Amsterdam School District voters approved the district’s $72.91 million 2018-19 budget proposal and elected two Board of Education members on May 15. The budget was approved by a margin of 489 yes, 194 no.

 The $72,918,824 budget maintains all current programs and services for the 2018-19 school year, and reflects a 4.9 percent ($3,407,261) year-to-year increase and includes no property tax levy increase.

 Voters elected incumbents Gavin Murdoch (475 votes) and Jackie Marciniak (379 votes) to the Amsterdam Board of Education. Mr. Murdoch and Ms. Marciniak each will server a three-year terms beginning July 1.

“We want to thank all those who took the time to vote today,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vicky Ramos said. “I’m pleased the community supported our budget. It shows they appreciate and understand our mission, which is to provide an excellent academic program to students while remaining fiscally responsible with taxpayers’ money.”

A proposition to purchase two school buses was also approved by voters: 492 yes, 187 no. A 60-percent approval rate was required for this purchase.

A proposition that asked voters to collect $220,000 to the Amsterdam Free Library was also approved by 439 votes.

Local property taxes will fund about 28.8 percent of the school budget, while state aid would fund about 66 percent. The district will receive a 5.3 percent increase in state aid in 2018-19, or about $2.4 million more than the current school year.

The spending plan will align current programs and services in all six schools to the district’s strategic plan and the GASD Theory of Action.

The budget allows for:

  •  A new innovative program at AHS, College & Career Pathways, a P-TECH model that connects students to graduation through project-based learning.
  • Continued funding for community school aid.
  • Increased funding for the district’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten program for 3-year-olds.