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September 18, 2013 - 4:40pm
posted by Kathie Scott in Board of Education, School Taxes, City Schools.

Highlights from the Batavia City School District (BCSD) Board of Education meeting on Sept. 17 include the following:

  • Tax rate adjusted ~ Decreases to lowest level in 10-plus years           
  • Reminder: Re-register for Basic STAR exemption by Dec. 31
  • District goals outlined
  • BOE president’s report
  • Superintendent elected to Board
  • Auditors review financial statements
  • BHS Homecoming in full swing

Tax rate adjusted ~ decreases to lowest level in 10-plus years

As a result of savings realized from the consolidation of schools, as well as some reevaluation and reassessment of properties, homeowners will see a 3.95--percent reduction in the school tax rate, or a $0.91 decrease per $1000 of assessed property value (to $22.14 per $1,000 of assessed property value). This is the lowest tax rate for the District in more than 10 years.

Reminder: Re-register for Basic STAR exemption by Dec. 31

Bill Smist of the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) explained the new legislation that requires all homeowners who receive the Basic STAR exemption to register with the Tax Department by Dec. 31 in order to receive the exemption in 2014 and beyond. The legislation is an attempt to eliminate any inappropriate exemptions.

The requirement to re-register does not affect those seniors who receive the Enhanced STAR exemption. The process for Enhanced STAR has not changed.

Homeowners currently enrolled in Basic STAR have likely received notification of the requirement. That letter of notification included instructions and information to complete the process, but residents are able to register even without the letter. Smist emphasized that registration is both easy and quick. It can be done online at www.tax.ny.gov by clicking on the tab, “Register for STAR.” It can also be done via phone: 518-457-2036, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

To register, residents will need their STAR code (included in the notification letter or available through the “STAR code lookup” link on the DTF Web site or through their phone assistance) and the names and Social Security numbers of all owners of the property and their spouses. Registrants will also be asked to confirm that the property is the primary residence of one of its owners (married couples with multiple residences may only claim one STAR exemption), that the combined income of the owners and spouses who reside at the property does not exceed $500,000 annually, and that no resident owner received a residency-based tax benefit from another state.

More information is available on the Web site or by calling the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance: www.tax.ny.gov or 518-457-2036.

District goals

For the complete presentation by Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey, please click on this link (or copy into your browser): http://www.bataviacsd.org/news.cfm?story=1120&school=0 .

Included here is a brief overview:

In introducing the District Goals for 2013-2014, Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey noted the District’s commitment, as articulated in the Mission and Vision statements, to empowering students to achieve their maximum potential and developing students who are able to successfully meet life’s challenges. He also emphasized the priority for continually improving the number of graduates who are college and career ready.

The four goals include: (1) close learning gaps UPK-12; (2) implement the second year of District Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plans; (3) be fiscally sound; and (4) improve communication.

Steps to close learning gaps include such measures as implementing improvement plans aligned with the new Common Core Learning Standards; monitoring, reviewing, and adjusting strategies and programs; and providing and developing the resources and professional development needed for academic growth. The continuation of implementing APPR plans calls for utilizing the process as fully as possible for improving instruction, with the goal of having all teachers and principals rated as Effective/Highly Effective by Sept. 1, 2014.

In its aim to continue fiscal responsibility, the District will work toward creating a budget for 2014-2015 that is at or below the allowable tax cap while maintaining programs, managing the Capital Improvement Project, seeking revenue sources as well as more shared services, and advocating for our district at the local, regional and state level.

Communication goals include improving and increasing use of the Web site, Facebook, automated calling system, building and District newsletters, and local media; increasing meetings with community groups; adding Twitter accounts for each school building and video streaming the Board of Education meetings.

In addition, Superintendent Dailey touched on the Three-Year Vision which expands on the listed goals for improved academics and finances.

In closing, he noted that he believes the Batavia City School District will continue to lead, not follow, our region in success and achievements.

BOE president’s report

BOE President Patrick Burk outlined a number of goals to be considered for adoption by the Board. He and the superintendent will work together to bring a set of proposals to the Board for review, and he requested that all Board members forward any ideas they have to him.

Burk also noted that there has been high turnover of Board of Education members throughout the Genesee Valley region. The number of new board members in Western New York may be a challenge as Board members, administrators, and other concerned community residents continue to advocate, as a region, for such things as adequate funding for our students’ education.

In its continued efforts for championing local concerns, the Genesee Valley School Board Association is hosting a dinner meeting on Sept. 26 to bring together advocates of rural school districts. For more information about the dinner, contact Jim Thompson at 344-7947 or [email protected].

Superintendent elected to Board

Superintendent Dailey has been elected to the New York State Association of Small City School Districts, which will provide another platform which can be utilized to advocate for our district.

Auditors review financial statements

Audit Committee Chair Phil Ricci reported that the committee met with the auditors to review financial statements from the last fiscal year. Noting that the auditors had few and minor comments, he commended Business Administrator Scott Rozanski and District Treasurer Sally Sanford, particularly in the progress regarding Medicaid and Student Activities reports, where neither had any problematic findings.

BHS Homecoming in full swing

Student Ex-officio Board Member Samir Jain updated the Board members on high school events, including activities for Homecoming Week, Sept. 16-21. (See listing on the District Web site: www.bataviacsd.org/news.cfm?story=1113&school=1).

Superintendent Dailey noted that tickets are still available through the Athletics Office for the annual Athletic Hall of Fame dinner to be held at Terry Hills on Saturday, Sept. 21.

September 16, 2008 - 12:17pm
posted by Patrick D. Burk in School Taxes.

At last night's Board of Education meeting, my fellow Board of Education Members were met with three areas of great news.  The first being that our SPECIALIZED SUMMER PROGRAMS will increase graduation rates and students remaining in school instead of dropping out.  All points lead to an upswing as the critical services are provided for a large number of children at risk.  One excellent point that was made is that children who stay in school for the summer do indeed maintain more knowledge and continue to progress.  Also students were being identified earlier to insure proper intervention.  Since drop out rates are now divised through a "new and uninproved" formula...it is imperative that we focus on early intervention.

Our New High School Principle, Chris Daley, meets with 10 High Risk Students each and every week and so do our High School Counselors.  It has been proven that the individual attention given to a student that is not achieving can actually turn that student around 360 degrees and provide for continued confidence as they progress through High School.

That brings us to our second piece of Good News.  I have never been one to profess great relevance in Business First's Ratings of schools.  This was largely due to a veiled process and a cumbersome explanation form.  Things do change however, and now there is a greater explanation of how ratings are compiled and how schools end up with the compiled number that they do.  OUT OF 97 School Districts in Western New York Batavia City Schools Ranked 38th.  Now I realize that is not TOP 10, but it is our highest ranking ever in the ratings history and shows that we are going in the right direction.  It also proves that we are ONE OF THE TOP CITY SCHOOL DISTRICTS in NEW YORK STATE. 

Business First also produced six categories and benchmarks on how the list was created.  In TWO AREAS Batavia is in the TOP 10 out of 97.  We tied for 7th as one of Western New Yorks Over Achieving School Districts.  This means that in spite of poor socio-economic indicators and financial considerations, our students do extremely well.  In fact one of our students place in the TOP 25 or Western New York and another placed in the 25 Alternates list.  Economic indicators such as the free and reduced lunch percentage of students are used to determine this benchmark.

In the are of Student Access, we ranked SECOND out of all 97 Schools in Western New York.  This is exciting, because it once again shows that we are going in the right direction by making our teachers and professionals more apt to work with students on a one-to-one basis.  The ability to better serve our students while increasing overall success is the NUMBER ONE GOAL of the City of Batavia School District.

The THIRD PIECE OF GOOD NEWS is that YOUR SCHOOL TAX RATES are going DOWN.   There is approximately a 4.4% decrease in the tax rate or on average a $1.10 per thousand reduction.  As late as last night, another $47000 was found in excess and it was returned to the taxpayers to lower the current school tax rate.  This is indeed good news from the standpoint of trying to control the escalating tax issues that this area has and continues to face.  More work in this area has to be done but it is a start.

Comment me with any questions and I will try to answer them.  Also, I am always here to answer your concerns either via this blog or privately.

 

 

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