BOE approves $68M budget proposal; vote is May 21

On Tuesday, April 16, the Liberty Central School District Board of Education approved a $68 million budget proposal to put before the voters on Tuesday, May 21. The proposal for the 2024-25 school year enhances curriculum and improves programs without increasing the tax levy.

This is the sixth consecutive year there is no proposed tax levy increase.

“This budget proposal continues our commitment to fiscal responsibility while providing the increased programming and support our students need to contribute and thrive in a diverse community by pursuing their potential,” Superintendent Dr. Patrick Sullivan said.

The proposed $68,034,294 budget increases spending 2.62%, or $1,737,992, and would fund all current student programs and services. The district’s allowable calculated tax levy limit increase is 5.24%; however, because the governor’s budget proposal allocates a 3.06%, or $1,686,000, increase in state aid to Liberty, the district is able to put forth a proposal with a tax levy of $17,760,162, the same as the current year’s budget.

The proposed spending increase is attributed to increases in such recurring expenses as insurance, energy costs and maintenance materials, as well as proposed expansions to curricular and extracurricular opportunities.

One of the pillars of the district’s five-year strategic plan is curriculum. Several program expansions proposed in the 2024-25 budget would support that pillar, including expanding the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) math curriculum to seventh grade, adding Syracuse University Project Advance college credit courses, as well as introducing more computer science and AI-related programs across grades.

The proposal also includes the addition of a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)-certified teacher, creating an administrative athletic director position, and converting two part-time teacher aide positions into one full time teacher aid. An update to the middle school library’s innovation lab is also in the proposal.

“This budget proposal keeps us focused on the elements of our strategic plan so that we can continue to prepare our students for a successful future,” Sullivan said.

Polls will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, in the High School Media Center. The time and location are changes from past years. More budget information will be available on the district’s budget page.