Bethlehem, NY: Bulk of school budget increase "for students receiving services outside of Bethlehem"

April 18, 2018, Spotlight News, Albany, NY: BCSD Board of Education unanimously adopts proposed 2018-19 budget On Tuesday, April 10, the Bethlehem Central School District Board of Education unanimously voted to adopt a $98.8 million budget for the 2018-19 school year. The budget not only increases spending by 1.7 percent but also carries a proposed tax levy increase of 2.4 percent, which will net the district an additional $1.5 million while remaining below the state-mandated tax cap. It is BCSD’s sixth consecutive budget with a tax levy increase that has remained under the calculated cap. … “This budget presented more challenges than we have seen in the last few years,” said BCSD Superintendent Jody Monroe. “Despite the volatility we experienced with some of our mandated costs, the budget we have proposed and that the board has adopted, preserves the instructional program we have been carefully rebuilding in recent years after a prolonged recession and related budget cuts.” The district has credited large increases in mandated pension, health care and special education costs (for students receiving services outside of Bethlehem) with the bulk of the $1.67 million budget increase…. Overall staffing numbers will be reduced as well, based on decreasing enrollment projections and student needs, according to the district, with reductions to be accomplished primarily through attrition and reallocation of staff..