Budget & School Taxes
Johnstown Voters Approve $39,967,989 Budget for 2021-2022 School Year
Beck, Schrum and Sponnable elected to Board of Education
The Greater Johnstown School District community approved the district’s $39,967,989 budget proposal on Tuesday, May 18 by a vote of 630-243, a margin of 72%.
“We are incredibly grateful for the community’s support in passing next year’s school budget,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. William Crankshaw. “It is a budget that prioritizes academics and our students’ needs, while giving careful consideration to the long- term financial health of the district. This vote outcome illustrates the community’s confidence in our children’s future and their commitment to provide each and every student at GJSD with a top notch education.”
The budget reflects a property tax levy increase of 3.8% ($393,247), which is within the District’s allowable New York state tax levy limit increase of 3.8%, meaning only a simple majority (more than 50%) was required to pass the budget.
This is the first time since 2017 that the District’s proposed tax levy increase was within the cap and a supermajority (60%) was not needed for approval. This also marks the first time in four years that the budget has passed on the first vote and will not require a re-vote.
“The Johnstown community has endured several difficult budget votes in the last five years,” Crankshaw added. “Thanks to smart fiscal planning, an increase in state aid and federal grants meant to help address learning loss from COVID-19, the District has been able to take very important steps toward accomplishing fiscal stability and, more importantly, long-term fiscal health.”
- A $39,967,989 budget for the 2021-2022 school year that increases spending by 2.5% ($992,700) and includes a tax levy increase of 3.8% ($393,247). YES-630, NO-243.
- The spending plan calls for the addition of three staff members: a 7-12 math teacher to teach the computer science curriculum being created through a new partnership with Amazon; an elementary visual arts teacher (the District currently has one art teacher for approximately 750 students K-6); and, a behavioral specialist to assist with social-emotional development and learning at the elementary level.
- The proposed spending plan also calls for a full restoration of extracurricular activities and athletics, and funding for students to participate in important co-curricular activities, such as field trips.
Other Items on the Ballot:
- Voters reelected Ronald Beck to his fifth term as a member of the Board of Education and elected newcomers Arthur R. Schrum Jr. and Jennifer Sponnoble as BOE members. All three will serve three-year terms. Mr. Beck received 522 votes, Mr. Schrum received 580 votes and Mrs. Sponnoble received 579 votes.
- Voters authorized two expenditures using pre-existing funds from District reserves — (1) the purchase of three school buses (YES-667, NO-200); and (2) repairs to be made at the junior-senior high school (YES-640, NO-225) Both expenditures will be 90% reimbursed by New York state. Monies for the expenditures already exist and are available in reserves, but voters still needed to approve the spending in order for them to move forward.
- Voters approved a change to the structure of the Board of Education from nine members to seven. The change will take effect July 1, 2022. (YES-596, NO-266)
2021-22 Budget Document Available
A PDF copy of the proposed 2021-2022 Budget Document, with required attachments, is available to view or print. A recording of the Public Budget Hearing held in the Johnstown Performing Arts Center on May 4, 2021 is available below:
When is the Annual Budget Vote & Board Election held?
Subject to few exceptions, school districts statewide are required by law to hold an annual budget vote and Board of Education Election on the third Tuesday in May.
Who is eligible to vote?
You may vote if you:
- are at least 18 years old;
- are a U.S. Citizen;
- have been a resident of the Greater Johnstown School District for the past 30 days; and
- are a registered voter (check here to see if you are currently registered to vote in the GJSD).
How do I register to vote?
Residents may register to vote at the office of the Fulton County Board of Elections (or the Montgomery County Board of Elections if you live in the Town of Palatine), or online through the NYS Board of Elections (it may take up to six weeks for your online application to be processed by NYS). The Board of Education also adopts a resolution designating a specific day and time for voter registration at school for persons not registered with the county.
Where do I vote?
The school budget vote and board election takes place annually on the third Tuesday in May. In-person voting takes place in the Johnstown Junior-Senior High School Auditorium Lobby from 11:00 am. to 8:00 p.m.
How do I apply for an absentee ballot?
Voters registered as permanently disabled with the county board of elections will automatically receive an absentee ballot. Any other qualified voter wishing to vote by absentee ballot must submit an application to the district clerk’s office. Applications are available below in both English and Spanish on our forms page. If you are unable to print the application, you may call 518-762-4611 ext. 3119 and ask for an application to be mailed to you.
Completed applications must be received in the district clerk’s office at least seven days before the vote if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter, or the day before the vote if the ballot will be picked up in person.
When are absentee ballots due?
If you are provided with an official absentee ballot, it must be received in the office of the District Clerk not later than 5 p.m. on the day of the election, in an envelope that bears a signed “Statement of Absentee Voter,” in order to be counted by the election inspectors.
Absentee Ballots and Voter Privacy
Have you wondered how absentee ballots are counted and how voter anonymity is maintained? We explain the process here: https://www.johnstownschools.org/absentee-ballots-and-voter-privacy/