Community to vote on adopted budget on May 19

Spending plan focuses on student achievement, includes tax levy increase of 0.5 percent

At a special meeting on Thursday, April 23, the Berne-Knox-Westerlo Board of Education adopted a $22,304,857 budget proposal for 2015-16 that continues all current core academic programs and services and calls for a 0.5 percent increase in the tax levy for next year.

The community will consider the proposal on the budget vote day of Tuesday, May 19.

If approved by voters, spending would increase 1.75 percent next year.

“Throughout the budget development process, myself, the Board of Education, and the Budget Advisory Committee have worked hard to balance the educational needs of our students with what the community can afford to support financially,” Interim Superintendent Dr. Joseph L. Natale said. “We have focused, for the past year, on improving student achievement in BKW. This spending plan, if approved by voters, will allow us to continue and build upon the progress we have made this year.”

The budget and an associated financial plan that Dr. Natale has outlined over the past few months are designed to provide fiscal stability for the school and the community, and keep the district’s focus on improving student achievement.

The spending plan includes the restoration of needed personnel to the district business office and recently state-mandated teacher evaluations by an independently trained individual that are offset by approximately $223,525 in reductions to areas including summer curriculum development, BOCES grant-writing and other services, and through secondary school teachers taking on an additional class.

The BKW budget newsletter will be mailed to residents in early May.