2021-22 School budget passes, Kennedy, Fitzgerald elected

School budget and BOE results: Budget passed, Laura Kennedy, Catherine Fitzgerald
Glens Falls residents approved the 2021-22 school budget by an 82% margin

Glens Falls residents vote “Yes” on the 2021-22 school budget

Kennedy, Fitzgerald to serve on Board of Education

May 18, 2021—Glens Falls City School District residents approved the 2021-22 school budget today by a margin of 554 “yes” votes to 125 “no” votes – a 82 percent approval rate. The $47.9 million spending plan will increase the tax levy by 2.5 percent, and represents a budget-to-budget spending increase of $1,411,578, or 3.05 percent over the current year. The budget proposal would embed extra student social-emotional support and “level-up” learning strategies into the educational program throughout next year. It maintains programs and services for students, and continues district-wide initiatives like classroom space reconfigurations.

Laura Kennedy was elected to the Board of Education after receiving 592 votes. Catherine Fitzgerald was also elected to the Board after receiving 118 write-in votes. They will begin their five-year terms on July 1, 2021. Randy Rath, an additional write-in candidate, received 50 votes. 

“We know this has been a difficult year for our whole community, and we sincerely appreciate the support that residents and families have given the district as we move forward together,” said Superintendent Paul Jenkins. 

Archived budget development materials can be found below.

  • 2021-2022 Budget Newsletter: Meeting our students where they are: redeeming the pandemic experience

  • Glens Falls City Schools 2021-2022 Budget Book

  • May 4: Public Hearing on the Proposed Budget: Slides

red graphic that says gFSD May 18 Budget Vote

Budget Proposal at a glance

  • Total proposed budget, 2021-22: $47,916,444
  • Spending increase (percentage) over 2010-21: 3.04%
  • Spending increase (dollar amount) over 2020-21: $1,411,578
  • Total tax levy: $211,144,063
  • Tax levy percentage increase: 2.5%
  • Tax levy dollar amount increase: $540,099
  • Maximum allowable (tax cap): 2.5%

graphic of proposed district revenues for 2021-22 graphic of proposed district expenditures for 2021-22

School budget proposal for 2021-22: Meeting our students where they are: redeeming the pandemic experience

student at school desk with face mask coloring GF Nation strong artwork

Building on strategic efforts to boost relationships and relevance within Glens Falls’ educational program, the Board of Education has adopted a $47.9 million budget proposal for the 2021-22 school year that enhances current programs and services and stays within the property tax cap.

If approved by the voters on Tuesday, May 18, the spending plan would increase the tax levy by 2.5 percent, which is the district’s maximum allowable without a supermajority vote. The proposed budget would increase spending by $1,411,578, or 3.05 percent over the current year. Voting takes place from noon to 9 p.m. in the Sanford Street School gym.

“This budget allows us to move into next year with a student-centered approach that continues to fund our existing programs and allows us to focus on our district-wide initiatives like classroom space reconfigurations and purchasing student school supplies, as we’ve done in past years,” said Assistant Superintendent for Business Bobby Yusko. “Fortunately, throughout the pandemic we were able to ‘weather the storm’ without any reductions in student programming or staffing, albeit with mandated restrictions. However, we’re in a position to move into the future and build upon the progress that has taken place, before and during this unprecedented situation.”

The district plans to embed extra student social-emotional support and learning gap closure initiatives into the educational program throughout next year. 

“We know our students have had a wide range of experiences this past year,” said Superintendent Paul Jenkins. “Some have flourished in the all-virtual model, and some have struggled mightily. Some have enjoyed the hybrid-remote schedule, and some have found it stressful. Every family has endured their own set of difficult circumstances … whether it be a job layoff, illness of a loved one, loss of special events and activities, or simply general anxiety throughout the pandemic. Altogether, we are heading into a school year with as many challenges — academically and emotionally — as we just came through.”

“Our principals know the unique strengths and needs of our students, and we will be ready to respond with targeted resources to help them fully recover from this convoluted pandemic year,” Mr. Jenkins continued. 

Questions remain on which health and safety requirements will still be in place in the fall, and which educational delivery models the district will need to use next year. Directives from New York State Education and Health departments are expected throughout the summer, as district leaders plan for the opening of school in September. “I would like to see all of our students back in their buildings, taking advantage of our full educational and extra-curricular program next year,” said Mr. Jenkins. “We simply don’t know whether state regulations will allow that. But we are ready to adapt, just as we did this year.”

Federal funding for schools in the American Rescue Plan and a more positive state budget outlook should help the district adjust to new requirements brought on by the pandemic.

“We are cautiously optimistic that the NYS budget’s promise of a fully funded foundation aid formula over the next three fiscal years, in addition to the availability of federal funds as a result of the federal stimulus packages, will allow us to address a number of challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mr. Yusko.

Two seats open on the board in May 2021

This June, voters will have the opportunity to elect two community members to the Glens Falls City Schools Board of Education. Learn more about board member responsibilities and requirements here.

woman smiling outsideLaura A. Kennedy, of 2 Spruce Court, is seeking her first term on the Board of Education. She is Director of Financial Planning at Glens Falls Hospital.

“As a parent of two young children and a graduate of GFHS, I have a vested interest in the success of our schools and am eager to give back to the community that raised me.

My primary goal as a board member is to ensure that all students have an opportunity to succeed, with an understanding that providing support for our teachers and staff is the foundation for student success.

I will bring an inquisitive nature, willing to ask tough questions while collaborating with other board members and the Superintendent to help move the district forward.

My experience in Finance will also support a focus on fiscal responsibility in aligning resources to ensure a high level of student achievement.”

Three-part budget

All public schools in New York State are required to report appropriations in three official categories: program, capital, and administrative. The following data shows how Glens Falls’ budget breaks down under this formula:

  • Program spending: $36,166,335 (75.48% of total)
  • Capital spending: $7,932,939 (16.56% of total)
  • Administrative spending: $3,817,170 (7.97% of total)

The annual budget vote for the fiscal year 2021-2022 by the qualified voters of the Glens Falls City School District, Warren County, New York, will be held at the Sanford Street Elementary School gymnasium in said district on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 between the hours of 12:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., prevailing time, at which time the polls will be opened to vote by voting machine.

Visit the Business Office page for more information about district finances.