At its meeting on Tuesday, April 5, the Averill Park Board of Education unanimously adopted the proposed budget for the 2016-2017 school year, a budget that not only requires no cuts to programs or staff, but expands programs and offerings for the second consecutive year.

The $56,173,142 spending plan is an increase of $2,266,641, or 4.2 percent, from the current year’s budget. If approved by voters, it would result in a tax levy increase of 1.65 percent, which meets the district’s legal limit under the state’s tax levy cap legislation. Therefore, Averill Park’s proposed budget requires approval by a simple majority to pass.

The proposed budget would include the following changes for the 2016-17 school year:

  • Restore Art, Music, and PE for Kindergarten
  • Create program for Special Needs Students ages 18-21 with increase in 1.0 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) teacher
  • Expand Pre-K County Special Needs Program
  • Restructure Instructional Coaching Team
  • Increase Music staff by .5 FTE
  • Offer eight additional elective courses at APHS
  • Continue a district-level administrator for evaluation of teachers
  • Restore assistant coaches in four sports: Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Football, Cross Country
  • Restore Indoor Track in budget

After years of legislators, school officials and Boards of Education calling for full elimination of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA), the GEA finally ended in the 2016-17 state budget. Over the last six years, the GEA diverted $16,536,152 from Averill Park schools.

“We are very pleased that the NYS budget has ended the Gap Elimination Adjustment,” said Superintendent Dr. Jim Hoffman. “This has put the district in a very difficult situation for the past six years. As a result of those funds being fully restored, we are able to provide a budget to the community that, while conservative in nature, is able to preserve and restore some of the programs that had previously been eliminated due to our budget constraints.”

Residents are encouraged to attend the Public Budget Hearing on Tuesday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Averill Park High School cafeteria. The annual budget newsletter containing details of the adopted spending plan, Board of Education candidates and bus purchase proposition will be mailed to all residents after the budget hearing.

Voting will take place on Tuesday, May 17, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Averill Park High School Auxiliary Gym, 146 Gettle Rd.

For more information, please visit the Budget Corner.


Posted April 6, 2016