Gloversville school district presents $58.6M budget plan

GLOVERSVILLE – The Gloversville Enlarged School District will present a $58.6 million proposed budget for the 2013-14 school year to district voters Tuesday that carries a tax-levy increase of 2 percent while promoting technology instruction.

The Board of Education conducted a public hearing on the budget Tuesday night at Gloversville Middle School. No one from the public spoke about the spending plan, which represents a $3 million, or 3.3 percent, increase over the 2012-13 budget. The levy increase is below the state tax cap of 4.34 percent for the district.

“We were able to keep it under [the tax cap] for two years in a row,” district Superintendent Michael Vanyo said.

The budget vote will be from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Voters also will choose among six candidates for four board seats, and be asked to allow the district to purchase two buses totaling $172,906. The state will cover 90 percent of the cost for the vehicles, Assistant Superintendent for Business Steven Schloicka said.

Vanyo and Schloicka outlined the budget, which was approved by the board April 15.

Revenue from the tax levy for the next school year is projected at $13.7 million. Salaries are projected at $20.97 million – up by $127,000 from the current budget. Fringe benefits are projected at $13.74 million for the next school year, up by $47,633.

During the budget presentation, Vanyo said when the district looks at improving graduation rates, it wants to tackle issues at the middle school. He said next year will involve middle school students participating in more computer instruction.

“We’re trying to infuse technology with our teachers and [asking], ‘Where can we help with reading and math?'” the superintendent said.

Schloicka said the next school year budget is basically broken down into three funding areas: administration – $4.76 million; programs – $39,04 million; and capital – $14.75 million.

“We pay about $8 million a year in debt service for these buildings,” Schloicka said.

He said the budget calls for about 66 percent state and federal aid. About 24 percent of the budget represents the tax levy, which has been “holding steady” in recent years, he said.

“We also bring in about $1.2 million in fund balance to control our levy,” Schloicka said.

Vanyo said the district is trying to build its business program back up at Gloversville High School and offer more advanced-placement courses. He said GMS will be getting into more “project-based learning” during the 2014-15 school year.

“We’re continuing to look at the overall [curriculum] piece,” he said.

Vanyo said the hope is at-risk students will take advantage of the district’s Summer Learning Academy at GMS – a four-week program. It will run from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and feature 90 minutes of English language arts instruction, and 90 minutes of math. The program also offers fine arts and drama.

“It will be a fun way for them to learn,” the superintendent said.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at