UTICA -- The Utica school board voted unanimously to approve the nearly $180 million school budget for the 2019-2020 school year.
The proposed budget includes no tax increase and 50 new teaching positions in the school district.
School district officials say the purpose of adding new teachers is to reduce class sizes, enhance academic services, and to implement reading remediation for students.
Of the $179,955,999 for the budget $146 million of that money is state aid.
“We're the third poorest school district in the state so we’re doing a lot more with less money but we’re doing the best job we can,” said School Board President Louis LaPolla.
Superintendent Bruce Karam discussed how the district managed to not have a tax increase for the school year.
"We trim the budget,” said Karam. “We constantly look at all our budget accounts every time we go through the process because it’s a very thorough process, and we look at all of our budget accounts and see what we can trim to save money there. Then with the retirements that we had this year by hiring beginning teachers, were going to have a breakage there and save salary money there and that additional salary money was then, in turn, turned around along with the cost savings that we did throughout the budget trimming here and there gave us the funds we needed to create these 50 additional jobs.”
Karam says the school district is in the process of recruiting staff to fill the new positions that they’re creating.
Now that the school board has approved the budget, it will go before Utica residents to vote on in May.