2024-25 budget vote and board of education election is May 21

Jamesville-DeWitt Central School District residents will vote Tuesday, May 21 on a proposed $71.4 million dollar spending plan for the 2024-25 school year. It calls for a $1,922,535, or 2.77%, increase in spending over the current year’s budget. The proposal supports initiatives outlined in the district’s strategic plan and maintains all existing programs, athletics, extracurricular activities, clubs, and student supports.

To close a $3.1 million budget gap while keeping taxes stable and maintaining current programs, funding for the 2024-25 school year would come from four areas: state aid ($21,763,861), tax levy ($45,358,697), fund balance and reserves ($2,070,000), and other revenue from interest income and miscellaneous sources ($2,164,422).

The tax levy is the total amount of money collected from district property owners to support the budget. The proposed tax levy increase is at the district’s state-imposed limit, or cap, which is an increase of 1.82%, compared to the current school year’s tax levy. Because the proposal is at the state imposed tax levy limit, a simple majority of voters would need to approve the budget for it to pass. 

Administrators outlined the budget proposal during a public hearing on Monday, May 13. Superintendent Peter Smith and School Business Administrator Brian Bartlett explained how the proposal would continue to support the district’s strategic plan as it enters its final year. 

“Careful considerations have been made to right size the budget and address factors like a 10% decrease in enrollment over the past five years. Decisions involving reductions were incredibly painful. Though the number of positions being cut (14) has not changed, the number of staff being laid off has decreased (4) due to other openings that became available. For example, some staff have moved out of the area and others are pursuing different opportunities, which created opportunities for those scheduled to be laid off,” said Superintendent Peter Smith. “We’ve worked hard to present voters with a fiscally responsible budget that responds to changes like enrollment yet maintains priorities such as building a strong culture of wellness; offering a robust curriculum; and providing a safe, inclusive, and equitable learning environment.”

You can find detailed information on what is on the ballot, including three additional propositions and board of education candidate profiles by visiting the district’s Budget and Finance webpage and by reading the budget newsletter

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday, May 21 at the J-D High School gymnasium.

*This article was updated on Monday, May 20.