District’s 2024-25 budget proposal adopted by BOE; maintains all student programming and staffing levels

On Tuesday, May 21, Fayetteville-Manlius School District residents will vote on the proposed $111,254,879 budget for the 2024-25 school year, which would maintain all existing student programming, staffing levels, and mental health support resources across all school district buildings. 

“In a year when many school districts are being forced to make difficult decisions due to a decrease in funding from the state, we feel very fortunate here at F-M to put forth a budget to voters that meets the needs of our students and staff, while also taking into account necessary building upgrades that will enhance the student experience,” explained Superintendent of Schools Craig J. Tice.

The proposed budget represents a spending increase of 5.9 percent, or $6,288,033, and carries a 3.49 percent tax levy increase. The tax levy increase sits below the tax cap as established under New York State law. That means a simple majority (50 percent of votes plus one) is needed to approve the budget.

This year’s proposed tax levy bump is primarily due to:

  • Salary increases caused by contractual agreements
  • Higher insurance premium costs
  • Building security upgrades as deemed necessary by recent building conditions surveys
  • Higher BOCES costs related to price and needs increases
  • Higher gas and electric costs

Building security upgrades covered in the proposed budget would include updated emergency notification software at elementary schools, additional security cameras, and further safety measures in the doorways of each school building. 

A portion of the proposed budget also accounts for an increase in services used through BOCES, including Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training for all F-M staff members, and additional seats for students in BOCES’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. CTE programming prepares students for real-world challenges, and includes programs such as automotive technology, computer technology, health occupations, construction, and much more. These programs are seeing a rise in student interest at F-M.

The budget proposal would also support the expansion of the district’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten program. There are approximately 116 students enrolled in F-M’s UPK program. Under the proposed spending plan, the district would be able to accommodate up to 145 students.

The district has two primary revenue sources: state aid and the tax levy. Other smaller revenue sources, such as interest income, make up the district’s revenue sources.

State aid accounts for approximately 30.6 percent of the district’s 2024-25 budget revenue. The state’s proposal shows F-M receiving a total allocation of $34,012,831 for 2024-25, which is a $2,084,171 increase in state aid compared to the current projected actual 2023-24 school year. State aid in the form of foundation aid increased by $1.1 million or 5.8 percent for the 2024-25 school year. Foundation Aid is the district’s primary source of funding for daily school operations. 

The tax levy accounts for 65.4 percent of the district’s 2024-25 proposed budget revenue. The tax rate impact on a property in the Town of Manlius, using assessment values and equalization rates from the prior year, would be approximately $37 per $100,000 of assessed value.

The budget proposal was adopted by the F-M Board of Education on April 15. The public budget hearing is scheduled for Monday, May 13.