Board Adopts 2019-20 Budget
The $195 million plan represents a budget-to-budget increase of 2.29 percent. The tax levy increase is 3.15 percent, which is slightly below the allowable state tax cap at . The budget maintains all current programming and adds Mandarin Chinese as a new foreign language option at the high school level. Expense reductions and savings totaling more than $1.1 million helped balance the budget.
All budget presentations and budget materials are posted and available for downloading on the district's budget web page.
In addition to the district budget, this May voters will be asked to consider a proposition to establish a new capital reserve fund, which would be used to address future school facility needs. The capital reserve, if approved, would be established at no cost to taxpayers. The May ballot also includes the school board election. To date, four candidates are vying for three seats on the board. They are: incumbents Mary Bieger, Teresa Leatherbarrow and Suzanne Van Sice; and newcomer Swaroop Singh. The deadline to submit candidate petitions is Monday, April 22.
The Annual Budget Hearing and PTSA Board Candidates' Night begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 9 in the district office boardroom, 105 Casey Rd., East Amherst. The District Budget Vote and School Board Election is Tuesday, May 21 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Williamsville North High School Gym, 1595 Hopkins Rd., Williamsville.
In other business Tuesday night, the Board approved two action items related to the dissolution of the district's transportation department, transitioning the remaining district-based operations to a private bus contractor, effective July 1, 2019. Twenty-five employees, including 21 bus drivers, are affected by the move and will receive an agreed upon severance package from the district. According to Superintendent Scott Martzloff, all of the employees have been promised jobs by the bus contractor, Student Transportation of America. "Certainly, we don't want to see anyone without a job," he said. Dr. Martzloff reported that 86 percent of the district's current bus operation is already provided by the private transportation contractor. By eliminating the remaining portion, the district is expected to save about $500,000.
The board also conducted its annual review of the district's Code of Conduct and heard a detailed presentation on the state of instructional technology in Williamsville schools.
The meeting video is available to view under the Library tab on the WCSD BoardDocs site or on the district's YouTube channel.
The School Board Notes provide a meeting summary.
April Board Recognition
The April board meeting included several special recognitions. Angela Dunn, a part-time teacher's aide at Mill Middle School was honored for her quick thinking and courageous response to a serious situation when she performed the Heimlich maneuver on a student during a lunch period in late March, saving the student's life. Also recognized was Williamsville North Junior, Pranav Setlur who recently achieved a rare perfect score on the ACT college admission exam.
Finally, the district's acclaimed music program was recognized for receiving the 2019 Best Communities for Music Education Award from the NAMM Foundation, a national designation that acknowledges Williamsville's outstanding commitment to music education. Instructional Specialist Michael Russo introduced Joan Fishburn, general manager of the Amherst Symphony Orchestra, who offered her congratulations to the district on receiving the award for the 11th consecutive year. Williamsville East Senior Matthew Cone, a violinist, was also on hand as recipient of the Friends of the Amherst Symphony Orchestra and the Rotary Club of Williamsville 2019 Music Scholarship.