By Nicole A. Elliott Staff writer
CAMDEN — The Board of Education unanimously adopted a $46,404,898 budget for the 2012-13 school year that calls for a 5.7 percent increase in expenditures over the current year spending plan.
The total increase of 5.7 percent in spending compared to the 2011-12 school year is due mainly to increased principle and interest being recognized for the payment of recent construction, including the high school addition and other school buildings renovations. The new principle and interest payments will be offset by state aid and reserves resulting in a tax levy increase to support all other operations in the budget of 1.88 percent, or $191,970. The new tax levy will be $10,403,151 for 2012-13, up from the $10,211,181 raised in 2011-12.
A public hearing on the budget for district voters will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 1 in the high school media center. The public vote on the spending plan will be Tuesday, May 15.
Assistant Superintendent of Business Karl R. Keil, Jr., said the proposed administrative budget will allow the district to continue its work implementing the Common Core curriculum in English Language Arts and math, teacher mentoring and summative assessments for grades kindergarten through 12.
The proposed program budget will allow the district to continue with all co- and extra-curricular activities, sports, driver education, Odyssey of the Mind and Science Olympiad programs, academic summer school, a five-year instructional technology plan, academic summer school and pre-calculus, psychology, chemistry and business classes offered through Mohawk Valley Community College. There are no scheduled layoffs for the district, however the positions of two retirees will now be filled, one in Home and Careers and the other in district-wide Physical Education.
District-wide enrollment is currently at 2,398, and is expected to drop by 50 students to 2,346 in 2012-13.
Keil said the district expects to receive 65 percent of its revenues, or a net $30,263,415, through state aid. The aid net amount includes a gap elimination of $2,221,114 after foundation aid and categorical reimbursements aid for transportation, BOCES, special education and building aid, he said.
According to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s originally proposed plan, Camden schools were slated to receive $25,277,905 in aid, not including building aid. The state-approved budget increased that amount to $25,530,041. The projected approved aid is now expected to be 5.45 percent more than 2011-12.
"The original state aid formula with foundation aid recognized the high needs associated with our large geographical rural district with a limited ability to pay," Keil said.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding saved programming in 2010-11, but not in the current school year. In 2011-12, the district received $543,646 from the Federal Education Fund. The 2012-13 Legislative-approved budget did provide some additional foundation aid funding for Camden in the amount of $131,725.
"It is appreciated as we move into the 2012-13 school year, striving to meet new Common Core Learning standards," Keil said. "The Board of Education, along with district administration, has worked to identify those education and co-curricular programs that return the greatest results for our students and continue to ask for support for those programs from our community. The board is sensitive to the ability of our school community to fund these programs and therefore strives to maintain a consistent balance between expenditure and revenue from budget year to budget year."
Tax rates for component towns for the 2012-2013 school year will not be available until August, after the individual towns set their equalization rates, Keil said.
The current tax rates in the district per $1,000 assessed valuation, plus the total tax dollars generated by each component town, are:
¿ Camden: $641.44; $3,350,454.78
¿ Annsville: $24.16; $1,583,560.90
¿ Vienna: $23.58; $3,668,533.61
¿ Lee: $453.42; $54,722.60
¿ Osceola: $14.74; $564,981.10
¿ Florence: $75.57; $985,259.89
¿ Constantia: $14.74; $3,667.81