Watervliet City School District residents approved the $30.46 million budget for the 2021-22 school year by a margin of 74 percent, or 107 yes votes to 37 no votes.
The 2021-22 budget reflects a 6.7%, or $1.9 million more than the current-year budget, and allows the district to maintain current staffing levels, and all educational programs, services and extracurricular opportunities for students. The plan also provides for a new developmental skills program at the elementary level to support children with special needs.
The budget carries a tax levy increase of 0.5%, which is well below the district’s limit as determined by the state’s tax “cap” formula. As such, a simple majority of voters was needed to approve the budget.
Two re-elected to Board of Education
Current board president Amanda Cavanaugh and incumbent Heather Soroka were re-elected to the Board of Education. Both ran unopposed and will serve three-year terms on the Board of Education beginning July 1.
Budget prioritizes student needs, health and safety
The 2021-22 school budget invests directly in student and program needs, which include the following:
- Two full-time equivalent teaching assistants and one social worker to support the new K-1 developmental skills classroom;
- One special education teacher to support grade 6, which will remain at Watervliet Jr.-Sr. High School; also
- A current long-term English as a New Language (ENL) substitute position will become permanent to support English Language Learners at the elementary level.
It also provides for the continuation of health and safety practices given lingering concerns about the spread of COVID-19.
- Two maintenance workers to provide cover increased cleaning, sanitizing requirements as per the CDC and NYSDO;
- Cleaning and disinfectant supplies; and
- Replacement/upgrade of MERV filters for the heating and ventilation systems in both schools.