On Tuesday, June 9, Stillwater Central School District residents will vote via absentee ballot on a proposed $26,181,978 budget for the 2020-21 school year. The Board of Education adopted the budget proposal at its meeting on Tuesday, May 19.
If voters approve the spending plan, the projected tax levy—the total amount of money a school district can raise through property taxes—would increase by 4.28 percent. This increase is below Stillwater’s maximum allowable tax levy increase as determined by the state’s tax levy “cap” formula (6.09 percent).
“There are no new additions in this year’s proposed budget. Our plan is to maintain quality programs and services, while remaining fiscally responsible,” Superintendent Patricia Morris said. “Our priority is to continue to provide high quality programs to our students and innovative professional development opportunities to our staff. We will be able to do so within the proposed spending plan.”
The 2020-21 budget proposal increases spending by $868,641, or 3.43 percent, over the current year budget. Much of that increase is driven by rising costs associated with salaries, employee pensions and benefits, as well as state and federal mandated programs and services. The proposal also includes the purchase of four new school buses.
Also on June 9, voters will elect four members to the Board of Education. Residents will also vote on a proposed budget for the Stillwater Public Library and elect trustees to the Stillwater Public Library. This is separate from the school district’s budget.
Residents can expect to receive a budget newsletter in the coming weeks. Residents are also encouraged to attend the public budget hearing at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26, in the middle school cafeteria.
Anyone who is a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old and a resident of the district for at least 30 days prior to June 9 is eligible to vote on the school budget. Voter registration is also required. Stillwater residents who have voted in the general election within the last three years, and who have not changed their residence, are already registered. There will also be a Voter Registration Day held on Tuesday, May 26, from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the district clerk’s office, 1068 North Hudson Avenue. Any person coming to the office to register is required to wear a mask and maintain social distancing. Proof of identification and residency is also required.
Absentee Ballot Information
An executive order issued by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that this year’s school budget vote and board of education election will take place on June 9, exclusively by absentee ballot due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Qualified voters on the most recent years’ poll lists will be automatically sent an absentee ballot. Anyone who meets the definition of a “qualified voter” but does not believe they will be on the school district’s poll list (which includes names of residents who voted in recent years’ school elections), please contact District Clerk Renee Price at email@example.com as soon as possible to ensure timely receipt of an absentee ballot.