Shen BOE approves $166 million budget to be voted on next month

Cady Kuzmich/Gazette Reporter
Shenendehowa retirees were acknowledged at the Board of Education meeting Tuesday evening April 5, 2016.Cady Kuzmich/Gazette Reporter Shenendehowa retirees were acknowledged at the Board of Education meeting Tuesday evening April 5, 2016.

By Cady Kuzmich

Gazette Reporter


Clifton Park –Voters in the  Shenendehowa School District will vote next month on a $166 million school budget for the 2016-2017 school year. The district’s board of education unanimously approved the proposed budget April 5.


At that meeting, the board also recognized several members of the school district who will be retiring this year.


The proposed budget, approved after new state aid figures were released,  increases spending by about $1 million from the 2016-17 budget discussed March 29.


The district will receive $45,960,827 in state aid this year up from $42,783,912 in 2015.


The upcoming year’s budget would be a spending increase of 2.1 percent over last year’s budget of $162,892,823.


The 2016-2017 school budget is up from the 2015-2016  $162.9 million budget, which carried a 1.72 percent increase over the previous year and was approved by voters 2,430-981.


According to information on the school website, the district expects to save $257,000 due to retirements, citing 14 qualifying retirees.


The budget includes $35,000 for art programs in the high school, $60,000 for athletic field maintenance and $4,000 to maintain microscopes. The district has allocated $80,000 to expand counseling support for “growing mental health needs.”


Kelly DeFeciani, the district’s public information officer, said  the district will shift some BOCES special education services to in-house programs. Superintendent Oliver Robinson said the district would be purchasing technology, such as Chromebooks and iPads, from sources other than BOCES in the upcoming year.


In addition to voting on the budget, Shenendehowa voters will also decide on four other propositions. They include:

  • Spending an additional $2.16 million on 21 new buses.  According to information on the school’s website, state aid will cover about 60 percent of this cost. The school estimates the impact on the tax rate to be about .17 percent over the course of five years.
  • A $16.6 million capital improvement program for an assortment of projects including upgrading the high school library. The district said this project would “address priorities identified in the five-year facilities study as well as modernization of the High School Library, campus signage and playground improvements. This project isn’t expected to impact the tax levy.

  • Creation of a $12 million capital reserve fund; the money for the fund would come from  the district’s fund balance, budgetary appropriations and state aid.
  • The election of three board members, with each seat carrying a three-year term. The three seats up for election on Shenendehowa’s Board of Education are James Trainor’s seat, Todd Gilbert’s seat and Gary DiLallo’s seat. Trainor announced earlier this year he wouldn’t seek reelection due to family and business responsibilities. DiLallo and Gilbert are seeking re-election while two community members, Deanna Stephenson and Kathleen Khemili have returned candidate acknowledgement forms. Petitions are due April 18.


Voting will be held from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. May 17 at Gowana Middle School. The board is scheduled to continue meeting about the budget on Tuesday nights for the next several weeks.


The following candidates  have been recommended for tenure at Shenendehowa:

Joanna Butterfield, Art

Kiarra Clark, Secondary Science

Sophia M. Delamar, Secondary Social Studies

Michelle Delwiche, Secondary Foreign

Celia J. Ganey, School Counselor

Ingrid Giso, Elementary

Judith E. Granai-Martin, Secondary Foreign

Suzanne Hasko, School Counselor

Joseph Hubert, Elementary

Darlene M. Kern, Elementary

Alison R. Leclerc, Elementary

Jane Levy, Special Education-General 0

Melissa London, Secondary Foreign

Amy K. McDonald, Elementary

Aimee McGinniss, School Counselor

Carrie A. Mendolia-Klett, Elementary

Andrew Quell, Secondary Science

Christina M. Salm, Secondary Foreign

Kelly Smock, Elementary
Tina E. Stehlin, Secondary English
Gregory Sulz, Elementary
Elizabeth Turner, Speech