JAMESTOWN – School districts across the state are holding their annual budget and school board of election votes today.
In Jamestown, residents will be voting on a nearly 90 million dollar budget. Voting will also be for two school board members.
Both open seats are for three-year terms beginning in July.
Brianne Fadale is seeking her first term on the Board of Education. Daniel Johnson, an incumbent, is seeking his third term, and Nina Karbacka, an incumbent, is seeking her second.
In a statement about the budget, Jamestown Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Bret Apthorpe said, “This proposed budget includes a zero increase in the tax levy while introducing new and important fiscal tools to protect the future of student programming.”
Apthorpe hopes voters will approve a proposed capital reserve fund, which would act like a savings account for the district.
“I call this a ‘community fund’ because it legally requires voters to approve establishing the fund, with up to two million dollars, from unused budget funds,” said Apthorpe. “It also requires voters’ approval for any withdrawal from the fund, and it can only be used for capital work.”
The Superintendent hopes to use up to $100 million for repairs, maintenance and upgrades to the district without borrowing or taxation.
“You are probably aware that Jamestown is highly dependent on state aid. Currently, 12 percent of the JPS budget goes to debt payment. If state aid to the district decreases, we are, of course, still required to pay off any debt. We must take action to lower this debt to protect student programming and maintain a stable tax rate. This proposition addresses important capital work that is needed in the district without adding to district debt,” said Apthorpe.
The proposed budget would also bring a daylong summer literacy program for students in kindergarten through fourth grade, re-open Rodger School as a “Success Academy” providing year round education to help students with life skills and academics and allow the district to work with local businesses to directly align a curriculum towards local employment upon gratification.
Jamestown Schools hosted a public budget hearing on May 8th but officials said no one from the community attended that meeting.
The Board of Education Elections and School Budget vote is from noon to 9 pm at Jefferson and Washington Middle Schools, along with Lincoln Elementary School, for all registered voters.
Ballots in both English and Spanish are available at polling places.