GJSD Financial Reserve Plan 2021-2022

Last Updated February 10, 2022

The Greater Johnstown School District Board of Education believes that there is a correlation between the long term financial health of the school district and its ability to provide students with the educational programs and facilities to meet its mission and enduring goals:

The GJSD will provide and support diverse, quality academic opportunities
in collaboration with our community in order to graduate citizens
with the knowledge, skills, and ability to promote and succeed in a stronger society.

Goal 1. Johnstown graduates will be college, career, and civic ready. Students will be proficient and literate in the areas of communication, digital technology and cultural acceptance while exhibiting good citizenship.

Goal 2. Students shall be engaged in rich and diverse opportunities that encompass personal, cultural, and varied learning experiences. Students should participate in the greater community, be encouraged to participate in goal setting, applied learning, personal expression, and citizenship.

Goal 3. The Johnstown School District will foster a faculty experience that encourages student engagement through providing freedom and empowerment, access to resources, communication and collaboration, and efforts to allow them to feel supported and valued.

Goal 4. The Johnstown School District will welcome parents and community members as respected resources for our schools. Effective two-way communication will be fostered among school, parent and community groups. The district will offer a range of opportunities for parent and community involvement.

Goal 5. The Johnstown School District will maintain a balance between program services and citizens’ contributions. Creative approaches to increasing revenue will be encouraged while decreasing expenses and conservation practices remain vital.


The District faces multiple future economic challenges:

  • Erratic and unpredictable support from New York State’s budget will continue to affect the amount of state aid available to the District in the future, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of its total budget.
  • The District has a lower tax levy than other districts of similar size and demographics; it has been artificially depressed for many years since the enactment of New York’s Property Tax Cap law.
  • The passage of the New York’s Property Tax Cap law limits the District’s ability to adequately raise the levy to bring local share revenue into alignment with that which other similar districts already collect.
  • Health insurance premiums for employees, retirees and their families are projected to increase at rates that exceed standard increases in the cost of living.
  • Increases in salary expenditures will be needed to continue to attract competent, qualified personnel.


Over the long term, the District will continue to use conservative budgeting practices to achieve a balance between revenues and expenditures. In the short term, the District will attempt to construct its budget as balanced a way as is possible to minimize operating deficits. Through the management of its reserves the District hopes to achieve the following:

  • Maintenance of educational programming during economic downturns
  • Cash flows that will minimize the need to issue Revenue Anticipation Notes and allow increased investment earnings
  • The ability to fund non-recurring items
  • A long term plan for preserving its infrastructure and school buildings
  • The ability to achieve necessary and sustainable tax levy
  • The ability to maintain and/or improve its bond rating, which will save District citizens fiscal resources at both the local and state levels
  • The ability to capitalize on opportunities as they arise, relevant to school district operations, which could result in better efficiencies, facilities/capital improvements, and instruction that are a beneficial to citizens in the long run
  • Establish, fund and utilize reserves to minimize dramatic budget and tax levy limit “swings” and provide more predictable budgets.

In conjunction with the District mission and the fiduciary responsibility to manage its fiscal affairs prudently, the Board of Education considers all of the above objectives critical components that form the basis of how reserve funds should be managed.