The Board of Education of Greater Johnstown convened on Thursday night in order to revise their education budget. One week prior to this meeting, a budget that proposed 35% tax levy was tabled, sparking the revision.
As time is of the essence, the board has decided to give its go ahead to the revised budget of $37.8 million.
This budget carries only 14.6% increase in the levied tax and needs a simple majority vote to be passed.
The president of the Greater Johnstown Board of Education, Kathy Dougherty was quoted saying that members of the board of education, staff and administrative members are all devastated at the passing of the said budget.
This proposed budget designated $200,000 from savings to sporting expenses. Additionally, $311,000 requires to be fundraised to continue sporting activities for the coming year.
$33,000 from the savings were to be used to retain extracurricular activity programs.
Patricia Kilburn, the Greater Johnstown School District Superintendent spoke about the opportunities to raise funds for one year, and its importance. She implored the community to work together as the proposed plan brings athletics into the budget, with extracurricular activities in its second year.
This budget eliminates 19 positions in the coming year and reduces the secondary electives.
As part of a three year plan, this budget is set to be inclusive of a 14% tax levy increase in the subsequent two budgets. According to Kilburn, this will aid in the maintenance of a fund balance, which otherwise will exhaust itself by 2021 with the current scenario persisting.
Kilburn also mentioned that despite losing staff, the budget will make arrangements to get the students the resources they require to graduate, and provide them with robust programs and AP as well.
After giving their voters an opportunity to be heard, Board members have come to take some tough decisions with the belief that it is a fair compromise.
The budget hearing has been set for the 11th of June, 2019, and a revote will take place on the 18th of June, 2019.