Budget plan would maintain programs, raise taxes 2% in H.P.

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HOLLAND PATENT — A public hearing will be held Tuesday night on a proposed 2019-20 Holland Patent school district budget that includes no reductions in programs or employment along with a 2 percent increase in the local property tax levy, according to school district officials.

The budget hearing, which will include a presentation on the $35.25 million spending plan followed by opportunities for questions from the audience, will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Holland Patent High School library, 8079 Thompson Road, the district has announced.

The proposed spending plan, approved in March by the Holland Patent Board of Education and up by about $676,000 or 1.96 percent from the current 2018-19 budget, is subject to final approval by school district voters in a May 21 election.

“We’re maintaining our programs” plus adding or enhancing in some categories in the budget proposal, district Superintendent Jason Evangelist commented Friday.

“We’re continuing with a lot of great things” in the district, he noted, adding “we’re very fortunate,” the Holland Patent superintendent added.

Among proposed changes from the current budget, said Evangelist, is the addition of a full-time social worker, which would be the third full-time staffer in that category to help meet students’ needs along with an existing part-time position.

There also would be some increased reading program support at General William Floyd Elementary School including a part-time position becoming full-time, Evangelist noted.

In addition, there would be some restored service in the middle-school academic support program, through a possible staff reassignment or addition, he said.

For revenues, the proposed 2 percent increase in the local property tax levy is less than a 2.43 percent increase that would have been the limit based on state tax-cap formulas, Evangelist observed.

With the 2 percent increase, the total tax levy would generate about $13.1 million in revenue for the school district.

Among other key revenues sources for the budget are state financial aid which is approximately $18.4 million, plus about $2 million from the school district’s fund balance/savings. There would be about $1.79 million remaining in the fund balance, according to Evangelist.

The Holland Patent district has about 1,375 students in pre-K to grade 12. Total employment is about 246 full- and part-time positions.

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