A letter by Superintendent Jim Hoffman and the Board of Education that was published in the Advertiser on Thursday, March 26 follows:

Dear Averill Park School Community,

We are currently working on the budget for the 2015-2016 school year. State aid numbers to school districts have not yet been shared therefore, the budget is tentative. We are hopeful that with a modest increase in aid, we will be able to continue our current program to students, return a full-day Kindergarten program, as well as provide new learning opportunities.

We also plan to present a proposition to purchase school buses. Our past two purchases have been accomplished with little or no community cost, as the local cost for the buses was offset by state aid and a corresponding reduction in maintenance costs to upkeep the older buses. This year, we propose to purchase eight buses to replace buses purchased 10 years ago. We anticipate an additional reduction in the cost of parts, tires, etc., that will not be necessary as we replace older buses in the fleet. The newer buses save on fuel costs and emit 90% less pollution into the air, which is good for the students and staff in and around buses each day.

The budget will need to be adopted by the Board of Education by April 24 in order to present it for a vote on May 19. The tax levy limit this year will be 2.25%. Staying below that level and demonstrating a 1% savings to taxpayers in shared costs means property tax increase will be eligible for a state refund. We fully anticipate meeting both of those goals for our local taxpayers.

Petitions are available at the District Office for anyone interested being on the Board of Education election ballot. Completed petitions are due April 20, 5:00 PM

Jim Hoffman and the Averill Park Board of Education



Posted March 27, 2015