May 17, 2017 10:30 AM

Amsterdam voters approve $69.5 million budget; elect board members

May 16, 2017

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On May 16, Greater Amsterdam School District voters approved the district’s $69.5 million 2017-18 budget proposal and elected three Board of Education members.

Voters approved:

• A $69,511,563 budget for the 2017-18 school year that increases spending 1.05 percent ($722,587), and includes no property tax levy increase: 550 yes, 197 no.

Voters also elected three members to the Amsterdam Board of Education:

• Dr. Nellie Bush: 567 votes

• Peter Pritchard: 564 votes

• Rev. Kent McHeard: 519 votes

Bush, Pritchard and McHeard each will serve a three-year term, beginning July 1. 

“We want to thank all those who took the time to vote today,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vicky Ramos said. “I’m pleased the community supported our budget. It shows they appreciate and understand our mission, which is to provide an excellent academic program to students while remaining fiscally responsible with taxpayers’ money.”

Local property taxes will fund about 30 percent of the school budget, while state aid would fund about 65 percent. The district will receive a 4.7 percent increase in state aid in 2017-18, or about $2 million more than the current school year.

The spending plan will align current programs and services in all six schools to the district’s strategic plan. The budget allows for:

• The creation of a $1,000,045 repair reserve – a fund that would be used for one-time capital improvements or equipment not covered under state or federal aid.

• The addition of a guidance counselor and social worker at Lynch Literacy Academy.

• The addition of assistant principals to each of the district’s four elementary schools, to provide additional support. 

• The addition of instructional coaches at all six of the district’s schools.

• Updating the district transportation eligibility for students in grades 9-12 to one and a half miles, lowered by half a mile from the previous qualifying distance of two miles. 

• The creation of a music repair line for student instruments.

• Upgrading playgrounds at all elementary schools.

• Updating instruction materials for students.

• The replacement of student desks when needed. 


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