Annual budget vote to be held Tuesday, May 16

Proposed 2023-24 budget aligns with District Strategic Plan; enhances safety, programs, and keeps levy within the limit

Polls will be open at Menands School from noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16. Menands residents are being asked to consider a proposed  $11.5 million spending plan for the 2023-24 school year. Under the proposed plan, spending would increase by $734,264 over the current year. The increase is offset by significant revenue generated by the full funding of foundation aid, along with the allocation of available fund balance. The budget carries a tax levy increase of 2.17%, which is within the allowable levy cap. As a result a simple majority (50% plus one vote) is needed for approval.

The proposed budget will allow the district to not only maintain, but to increase opportunities for students; it maintains the recently implemented STEM Innovation Lab, as well as two positions previously funded using COVID relief funds that are set to expire. It emphasizes health and safety, including an officer on campus, and it also expands extracurricular opportunities. The budget supports the implementation of the board-adopted 5 Year Strategic Plan focused on: Student Achievement & Success, Social Emotional Learning. Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity, and Fiscal Responsibility.

Public hearing

A budget hearing was held on Monday, May 8 at Menands School to inform the community of the items included in the budget. That same evening, the League of Women Voters hosted a Meet the Candidates Night for prospective board members.

School board candidates

There are three candidates for two open seats on the Board of Education: Charlie Luke, Joshua Kullman, and Mashal Shaikh.

Library Board of Trustees

There are five candidates for two open seats for the Library’s Board of Trustees: Tammy McNamara, Jennifer Baltrush, Libby Post, Kelley Lemyre, and Rosalynn Duvall.

Capital Project Proposal

Voters will also be asked to consider a separate referendum for a $2,360,000 capital project that will tend to the needs identified through the most recent Building Conditions Survey. In particular the project would replace end-of-life infrastructure including roofs, select HVAC units, and paving. These quality improvements address health and safety while resulting in a more efficient and cost-effective operation. According to Superintendent Dr. Maureen Long, “This project has been thoughtfully and strategically planned to address priority and immediate infrastructure needs, with no additional impact to the taxpayers.”

Please read the district newsletter for more information about the budget and proposals on this year’s ballot.