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WVCS hosts budget hearing, discusses school programs

WEST VALLEY—West Valley Central School hosted its annual budget hearing on May 7, in which the 2018-19 budget, the purchase of a new school bus and the board of education election were presented.

The 2018-19 proposed budget is set at $9,184,125, a 0.97 percent increase from last year. One of the big reasons for an increase in the budget this year is an increase in the district’s special education costs of $150,982.72.

“We have had additional students that we had to classify and depending on their needs, it depends on which program they go to and our costs have increased,” WVCS District Business Official Ann O’Brien said. “We do have a cushion in the budget for this, but the needs have increased so much that I had to use some of our fund balance to cover it … we are hoping over the next couple of years that evens out.”

Along with an increase in the budget, the proposed tax levy for 2018-19 is set to increase by 2 percent.

A proposition will be on the ballot to purchase one 22-passenger Chevy Collins school bus at an estimated maximum cost of $55,732. The district will receive 77.8 cents back from New York for every dollar spent on the bus, leaving the local share estimated at $11,818.

WVCS_budget (1)

Voters will also have the chance to elect two members to the WVCS Board of Education. One open seat, previously held by Teaseleman Jackson-McCarty, will be for a five-year term and the second seat, previously held by Brad Frank, will be for a five-year term and will start immediately after the May 15 vote. Jackson-McCarty will be rerunning for her seat against Gary Niesyty. Mike Harmony will be running for Frank’s seat unopposed.

The annual budget vote will be May 15 from 12 - 9 p.m. in the WVCS gymnasium.

To show what a large portion of the budget goes toward, WVCS principal Dan Amodeo highlighted many of the academic programs offered in the district.

WVCS currently offers 56 college credit hours for students, which is equivalent to around two years of college credits. Courses include Syracuse biology, chemistry, economics, cybersecurity and U.S. history, Hudson Valley psychology, Genesee Community College physics, Houghton English and Jamestown Community College elementary statistics, pre-calculus and calculus.

In its secondary program, WVCS will continue the involvement with career technical education pathways, expanding its entertainment technology courses into programming II and another 3-D design course, working with the instructional support team for grades 7-12 and career cruising. In its elementary program, maintaining the required and recommended time for electives, the positive behavior intervention and support program and the response to intervention program in kindergarten to sixth grade will all continue.

Newer extra curricular activities including Girls on the Run and Boys on the Right Track will be continuing this year to go along with a variety of other programs including mentoring, Lego League, STEAM Club, chess club and the jr. musical.

In other board news:

– Castallo & Silky LLC Education Consultants will be presenting their finding from the pre-annexation study on Monday, June 21 at 7 p.m.

– The board approved the drive a tractor to school day for June 8.

The next WVCS board of education meeting will be on Tuesday, May 15 at 8 p.m. in the cafeteria.

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