Board adopts $71.4 million budget proposal for 2024-25

The Jamesville-DeWitt Central School District Board of Education adopted the 2024-25 school budget proposal on Wednesday, April 17. The $71,356,980 million spending plan calls for a $1,922,535 or 2.77% increase in spending over the current year’s budget. 

Like many districts across New York, Jamesville-DeWitt administrators were faced with a significant deficit while developing the budget. Careful considerations were made in an effort to right size the budget and address factors like a decrease in expected state aid, a 10% decline in enrollment, and inflation. 

Proposed cuts include a reduction in BOCES services, supplies, and materials. The district will also reduce the workforce by approximately 14 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions through attrition and layoffs.

“The cuts include a mix of teaching positions, teaching aides/assistants, and clerical roles. We were very strategic about which positions were eliminated. We tried to minimize the impact on any one school, grade level, or department. Reductions are incredibly painful, but these were appropriate adjustments due to declining enrollment,” said Superintendent Peter Smith.

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. The estimated projected tax per $100,000 of assessed home value with basic STAR exemption is $1,417.76, which would be $25.28 annually.

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. On May 21, voters will elect three Board of Education candidates and see four propositions on the ballot:

Proposition 1: 2024-25 Budget Proposition 

    • Proposed Budget: $71,356,980
    • Budget Change: $1,922,535
    • Tax Levy Change: 1.82%

Proposition 2: Bus Purchases 

The district is proposing the purchase of four new school buses. This will keep the district’s bus replacement plan on track, which aims to keep maintenance costs low and provide safe transportation for students.

The district plans to buy three 65-passenger 2025 Bluebird buses for $163,223 each and one 48-passenger 2025 Bluebird wheelchair accessible bus for $194,688 for a total of $684,357.

If voters approve the proposed purchases on May 21, the state would reimburse the district over a five-year period for approximately 71% of the cost of the new vehicles. 

Proposition 3: Board of Education Student Member

On May 21, voters will decide whether the Jamesville-DeWitt Central School District Board of Education will continue the practice of including a non-voting student member on the board.

Proposition 4: Funding Community Library of DeWitt & Jamesville 

When Jamesville-DeWitt residents vote on the proposed 2024-25 school budget, they will also have the opportunity to vote on a proposition to levy and collect a tax in the amount of $1,612,518 for the Community Library of DeWitt & Jamesville. New York state education law allows libraries to place a funding proposition on school district ballots and requires districts, at the libraries’ requests, to levy and collect taxes for libraries. 

Next Steps

You can learn more about the proposed 2024-25 budget in a community newsletter and postcard which will be mailed to district residents in May. 

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for May 13 at 7 p.m. at J-D High School. You can also attend this virtually via Zoom.  

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., May 21, at the J-D High School gymnasium. Absentee and early voting information can be found on the district’s Budget and Finance webpage.