Budget & Finance
2020-21 Budget Info
Developing the annual school budget proposal is a year-round process that involves the Canajoharie Board of Education, as well as district and school leaders.
How to: Vote on 2020-21 School Budgets & Board Candidates (By Mail Only)
2020-2021 Budget Public Hearing
The budget hearing will be May 28, 2020, at 6:30 P.M. via WebEx.
Meeting number (access code): 717 369 983
Meeting password: Es3YCcgzF38
Current Year Budget (2020-21) Information
- Budget total: $22.61 million
- Tax levy increase: 2.5% under the tax cap
- Spending decrease: 0.15%
- Use of Fund Balance: $550,996
Residents to decide on proposed $22.6 million budget on June 9
At its May 7 meeting, the Canajoharie Board of Education approved a $22,610,925 million proposed budget for the 2020-21 school year. The proposed spending plan will go before voters on Tuesday, June 9. Per an executive order by Governor Andrew Cuomo, the school budget vote and board elections will be by absentee ballot only this year.
The proposed budget represents a 0.15 percent, or $33,965, an increase in spending. It proposes a property tax levy of 2.49% percent, which is under the district’s allowable limit as calculated under the state’s “tax cap” formula. A simple majority (50 percent plus one vote) is needed for approval.
“The district strives to attain three goals: Maintain and enhance programs for our students, keep the tax increase under the mandatory property tax levy cap, and preserve jobs to the greatest extent possible,” said Superintendent Dr. Nick Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald noted that the proposed tax levy is a full percentage point less than last year.
The district expects to add new courses for students, a specialized program to accommodate the individual needs of students previously placed in programming outside of the district, distance learning, and possibly some after school programs with the goal of retaining all staff.
Canajoharie may face additional reductions to its state aid as the enacted state budget includes three “look back” periods in May, July, and December. At these times, the State Division of Budget will evaluate revenues against projections and potentially withhold or adjust aid to localities, including school districts. This possibility for mid-year aid cuts means that Canajoharie may receive even less state funding than it appears at this time.
“The reductions may be more or less, but we are accounting for another possible large reduction that could affect future budgets,” said Fitzgerald.
In addition, in an effort to deal with the financial challenges brought on by COVID-19, the state budget includes a state aid reduction, the “Pandemic Adjustment,” that totals $1.1 billion statewide.
For Canajoharie, the Pandemic Adjustment is $411,000. The enacted state budget calls to use federal stimulus money to cover the Pandemic Adjustment this year. While the federal stimulus offers relief this year, it remains to be seen if and how this will be applied to state funding in future years.
The district will realize savings as the result of retirements, a renegotiated health insurance contract, and establishing a specialized program to accommodate the individualized needs of students previously placed in programming outside of the district.
A total of 61.67% of the district’s revenue comes from state aid. The remaining 33.4% of revenue is derived from property taxes. To help balance the budget, the district will use $550,996 in appropriated fund balance and reserves, of which $375,000 is allocated specifically for the Employee Retirement System expense.
If the budget is approved, the estimated annual tax increase would be $50.88, or $4.24 per month, for a home assessed at $100,000.
“The district continues to explore every possibility to maximize our use of funds to support the best learning opportunities for our students,” said Fitzgerald. “Our focus is on giving students the best chance to succeed.”If the proposed budget is approved, the district will expand course offerings through the use of distance learning and district opportunities.
“Distance learning, for example, allows for courses that the district could not offer and gives the students an opportunity to collaborate with students from other districts with the use of technology,” said Fitzgerald. Much of the cost of the program is reimbursable through the district’s NERIC/BOCES service.
The ballot also will include a proposition to establish a non-voting student representative position on the Board of Education and a bus proposition.
The ex-officio student member would attend and participate in all board meetings. However, as an ex-officio member, the student would not vote and would not attend confidential executive sessions. To be eligible for the position, student candidates must have attended Canajoharie High School for at least two years prior to the appointment and be a senior during the year of service. If approved, the board would work with the superintendent and the high school principal to define the procedures for selecting an eligible student. The board’s authority to appoint a student representative must be approved by voters and re-approved every two years.
In addition, the ballot will include a proposition that allows the district to lease three 66-passenger school buses for a cost of $52,425. The cost of the lease is $17,475 for each bus over five years. This proposition has been annually done in March, but to make things easier for the voters, we put everything on one ballot for one vote. The funding for this proposition will come from the district’s Bus Replacement Reserve Fund and will have no tax impact.
Additional details on the proposed budget will be posted on the district website and shared in the annual budget newsletter, which will be mailed to all residents in late May. A virtual public hearing on the budget is scheduled for May 28, 2020, at 6:30 p.m.
Absentee ballots will be sent out to all voters and must be returned by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. If you do not receive a ballot and believe you should have, please contact the district clerk at 518-673-6302 or email@example.com. Ballots will include a postage-paid envelope so voters can return them by mail.
Meet the Board of Education Student Representative
Residents of the Canajoharie Central School District will vote by absentee ballot on the $22,610,925 proposed budget for the 2020-21 school year.
The ballot also will include a proposition to establish a non-voting student representative position on the Board of Education.
The ex-officio student member would attend and participate in all board meetings. However, as an ex-officio member, the student would not vote and would not participate in confidential executive sessions. To be eligible for the position, student candidates must have attended Canajoharie High School for at least two years before the appointment and be a senior during the year of service.
Meet Canajoharie senior, Tyler Pinkerton, the current Student Representative on the Board of Education.
“I found out about this position through the previous Student Representative, Olivia Stanley, when she recommended the position to me,” said Pinkerton.
Read more: https://bit.ly/36tsB8S
May 14 – Budget Vote and Board of Education – Update
With the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been some substantial changes to the voting process. Per the current executive order from Governor Cuomo, the new budget vote date is Tuesday, June 9, 2020. The vote will be done by mail-in ballot that will be sent to current residents that have voted on the budget within the last four years. If you have not received a ballot by Thursday, May 28th please contact the district office at 518-673-6302 or email Andrea Muhlebeck, District Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org. A postcard will be mailed out during the week of May 11-15 stating when the budget vote will happen as well.
Included on the ballot will be the budget vote, the board of education candidates, bus leasing proposition, and the student board representative. Information on the budget will be available through the newsletter that will be mailed and the annual District Budget Proposal. The proposal will be available online starting May 22. In addition, the annual budget hearing will take place on Thursday, May 28th at 6:30 pm via Webex. Information on how to connect to the hearing will be posted on the website the week of the hearing. There are two open board of education seats, a five-year term, and a two-year term, which is the remainder of a seat vacated in 2019 The candidate for the five-year term is current president, Mark Brody. The candidate for the two-year seat is the current board member, Hedi Meka. The annual bus leasing proposition that is usually conducted in March each year is included on the ballot. The district will be leasing three, 66 passenger busses for five years. There is no tax implication with the lease. The cost has already been established with a reserve fund. In addition, we are reimbursed for 86% of the total cost. Finally, we established a student board of education representative four years ago and would like to continue with the opportunity.
Executive Order School Budget & Board Member Votes – May 1, 2020
In an executive order issued on Friday, May 1, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that this year’s school budget vote and board of education election will take place on June 9.
The order also waived the minimum signature threshold for board of education candidates and states that candidates must meet all of the other requirements to run for the board. These include being qualified voters and having lived in the district continuously for one year prior to the election.
In order to run for the Board of Education, a candidate must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old, qualified voters in the school district, and able to read and write. They must be residents of their districts continuously for 30 days before the election. At the time when the board member takes office, they cannot be employed by the board on which they serve or live in the same household with a family member who is also a member of the same school board.
Canajoharie Central School District residents will be asked to elect two members to the Board of Education during the June 9 budget vote and board election. The seat vacated by Christopher Fatta, which commences 7/1/2020 and ends 6/30/2022, will be on the ballot for the remainder of Fatta’s term along with a 5-year term commencing 7/1/2020.
Applications to run for the Board of Education can be obtained from the district clerk and by 5 p.m. on May 11. If interested, please contact the district office.
For more information, call the district office at 673-6302.
Previous Year Budget (2019-20) Information
On Tuesday, May 21, 2019, Canajoharie voters approved the 2019-20 budget by a vote of 161 in favor and 93 opposed.
- Budget total: $22.58 million
- Tax levy increase: 3.5% under the tax cap
- Spending decrease: 0.89%
- Use of Fund Balance: $770,313
Absentee ballots are available for residents who will be out of town or unable to vote at the polls due to illness or disability. Please note the following deadlines for absentee ballots. To request an absentee ballot, please contact the District Clerk by phone at 518-673-6302 or in-person at the District Office, 136 Scholastic Way, Canajoharie.
Look Up a Tax Bill
To look up a tax bill visit the Montgomery County Tax Bill Search and View page.