On Tuesday, May 21, residents will vote on a proposed $42,593,933 Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School District budget for the 2019-20 school year that has a proposed tax levy of $16,527,322, a 1.92% increase from the current budget.
The proposed tax levy increase is at the district’s maximum allowable limit as calculated by the state’s tax levy limit formula. This means that a simple majority of 50% plus one voter is needed to approve the school budget.
“We are very grateful that the legislature and Governor advanced an on-time state budget with a 2.7% increase in foundation aid for our district,” said Superintendent Carl Mummenthey. “We always try to weigh the needs of our students against the financial implications they’ll have on our community. If this budget is approved by voters, we will have kept the average annual tax levy increase to less than 2% over the last five years. Clearly, we are both aware of and sensitive to the impact our work has on the community’s taxpayers.”
The proposed budget invests in the C-R community in the following ways:
- Classroom Support Teacher (CST) at Radez Elementary School
For many years, we’ve had a successful Classroom Support Teacher (CST) model at the Ryder Elementary School. Next year, we intend to replicate that program at Radez elementary school. We will be able to repurpose one elementary teaching position to create a Classroom Support Teacher. The CST provide consultation, coaching, classroom support, and instructional and behavioral strategies for regular and special education teachers and students.
- New Staffing Model for CIP-2 Program
Several years ago, we initiated a program at Golding Middle School with an embedded mental health counselor to provide a high level of social, emotional, and behavioral support to students in that classroom. The proposed budget will allow that same level of support to our CIP-2 classroom at Radez Elementary School. We are confident that embedded mental health and counseling services will be of great assistance to the students in our CIP-2 classroom.
- Additional Staffing for Communications Services
Increasingly, our community expects more frequent and more diverse communication from the district and our four schools. Presently, the district subscribes to communication services through Capital Region BOCES and purchases 2 days/week (.4 FTE) of this service. The proposed budget will afford us to increase our communications position to a full-time position, either through partnership with BOCES or by hiring a full-time communications professional as a district employee. This will better enable us to create compelling content, tell our story, and strengthen our relationship with the community.
- Continuation of Google Mentoring Program
This year, we piloted a new Google Mentoring program at our four schools. This “incubator model” has allowed us to exlore and embed instructional technology in our elementary, middle school, and high school classrooms. Based upon the early success of this pilot project, we have included funding in next year’s budget to continue this program.
- New Funding for a “Capital Outlay” to Maintain and Enhance our Facilities
In the 2019-20 budget, we have proposed a $50,000 capital outlay in order to excavate and repair supply and return piping our geothermal heating/cooling system at the Ryder/Golding campus. After state aid, our net cost on this repair project will be approximately $9,000. Annual capital outlays are an excellent way to leverage state building aid in order to enhance and upgrade our district’s facilities.
- Reorganization of our Administrative Team
In most high-performing districts, substantial resources are dedicated to a continuous cycle of curriculum development, job-embedded professional development programs, program evaluation, and instructional data analysis. Here at C-R our directors, principals, and assistant principals have eagerly assumed leadership of this important work. Moving forward, and in light of new curriculum and professional development requirements faced by all districts, we intend to create a new district-level position (Director of Teaching and Learning) to provide leadership and support in these important areas. Due to our declining enrollment, particularly at the Golding Middle School, we will be able to create this position without adding a new administrator. Instead, we will restructure our leadership team by repurposing the assistant principal’s position at Golding as a teacher-leader position (Dean of Students) and filling the new director’s position internally with one of our existing administrators.
- Addition of New Athletic Program (boys modified volleyball)
For many years, we’ve had a strong boys volleyball program at our high school. However, our varsity program has lacked a “feeder program” at the modified level. Next year’s budget will include funding for a modified boys volleyball program to help foster fundamental skills development and provide an additional opportunity for middle school students to participate in interscholastic athletics.
- Restoration of full-time science position (Physics) at our High School
Currently a shared position, the proposed budget will restore a full-time physics position to our high school faculty and enable us to better serve our students with rigorous course offerings and greater accessibility to students.
‘I want to acknowledge the hard work that Mr. Mummenthey and his team do to present the public with a school budget that puts students first, but is also mindful of the community’s needs,” said Board of Education President Bruce Tryon.
“I want to thank the members of our Board of Education, Citizens’ Budget Committee, the C-R administrative team, and the district’s budget team, for their keen insights in developing this budget,” said Mummenthey. “And I want to thank the C-R community for its continued support of our students.”
Voting will take place on Tuesday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Golding Middle School and Radez Elementary.
School district residents in the towns of Worcester, Decatur, Roseboom, Seward, Summit, Richmondville, Jefferson, Blenheim, and Fulton (west of the junction of Tower and Greenbush Roads) vote at Radez Elementary, 319 E. Main Street, Richmondville (518-294-6621).
District residents in the towns of Root, Carlisle, Esperance, Schoharie, Cobleskill, Middleburgh, and Fulton (east of the junction of Tower and Greenbush Roads) vote at Golding Middle School, 155 Washington Ave., Cobleskill (5158-234-4032).
If you have questions about your voting location, call 518-234-4032, ext. 2000.
Residents must be registered to vote. To register, contact your county board of elections. Absentee ballot applications are available in the district office.