Voters approve revised budget for Greater Johnstown School District

June 18, 2019 11:10 PM

JOHNSTOWN – Voters in the Greater Johnstown School District passed the school’s revised budget Tuesday night.

The school district said 1,393 people voted in favor of the budget and 803 people voted against it.

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“My daughters a teacher in the district, my kids went here, my grandchildren hope to go here, it’s important,” said resident Donna Albanese.

The budget that passed is for $37.8 million and calls for a 14.6 percent tax levy increase. While it’s not as much of an increase as the original plan, which called for a 35 percent tax levy increase, one resident who owns five properties said it’s still a lot.

“I'm getting nailed with taxes,” said Eileen Rizzo. “How much more can I raise the rents, my insurances and everything else keeps going up and you put that on me and I have to put it someplace else so that goes back to the tenant."

However, one man said he won’t mind his rent going up.

“I just love Johnstown and Johnstown High School was good to me when I was going to school here,” said James Santangelo.  “It's worth the sacrifice if it have to make some sacrifices and you know cut back a little bit on my end.”

Another voter saying it will overall be good for the community and property values to have a good school district.

"I'm on a retired fixed income I hate to see taxes go up but your community is only as good as your schools and the children educated in your schools,” said Barbara Taylor.

The new budget will cut 19 staff positions and limit the elective courses students can take. However, it will preserve Advanced Placement course as well as full day kindergarten. While is preserves $200,000 for transportation for athletics, the community will still need to raise more than $300,000 to keep sports teams in the district. Something Santangelo said he knows they will do.

“We have no choice,” said Santangelo. “We have over 100 years of traditions we have to fight for and defend and protect and I'm going to do my part."

On Wednesday, June 19 a fundraiser will be held at the Johnstown High School Auditorium to raise that money needed for the sports programs.


Emily De Vito

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