District Contact Information

Daniel T. Connor

227 Main Street
Goshen, NY 10924
(845) 615-6720

Central School District

District News

Voters to decide on $69.73 million proposed budget on Tuesday, May 16

April 24, 2017 - On Tuesday, May 16, Goshen Central School District residents will vote on a $69,733,196 proposed budget for the 2017-18 school year.

This budget, which represents a spending increase of $1,954,925 or 2.88 percent, will result in a tax levy increase of 2.89 percent – an increase that is below the district’s legal limit as defined by New York’s tax levy cap legislation.

Residents will also vote to authorize the purchase of six new school buses, replenish the Capital Reserve Fund, and elect two members to the Board of Education. Learn more about the propositions

What is causing the increase in spending?

Although the district will not add program or personnel, rising contractual costs related to personnel and health insurance are the main reason behind the budget-to-budget increase for next year.

Collective bargaining units negotiate multi-year contracts for salaries and benefits, while medical benefit costs are determined by the health care industry.

The district is one of several local districts that participate in the Orange-Ulster Health Plan, a self-funded plan that’s been in operation for approximately 35 years. Several years ago, area school districts formed their own health insurance plan in order to offer employees health insurance coverage at a lower cost to them – and the school district.

The district has more control over the benefit plan and can customize it and control health plan reserves. Essentially, the district doesn’t have to subscribe to a “package” offered by a private insurance company, allowing the district to control coverage and premiums, and manage costs when necessary.

For several years, the district has been able to keep health insurance premiums at a much lower rate than private health insurance plans, but this year, premiums are increasing nationwide due to new standards under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

For instance, ACA allows young adults up to age 26 to be covered under their parents’ insurance plans, causing an increase in plan usage, and because the cost of medical care and medications are increasing, there is a higher cost for services.

The health plan’s board members, made up of one employee from each participating district, met to negotiate benefit changes in order to lower costs.

The board members voted to increase some co-pay amounts for certain employees, and will change medical benefits as well as the plan’s pharmaceutical benefit manager to CVS Caremark, which reduced the premium increase from 26 percent to 18 percent for next year.

How does new library construction affect the budget?

In December 2015, district residents approved a $9.3 million bond referendum to construct a new Goshen Public Library at Salesian Park. Because it is a school district public library, the district must borrow the bond money to give to the library. The district will be fully reimbursed, but the money must appear as an expenditure in the 2017-18 budget.

In other words, the district must borrow the money for the bond, lend it to the library, and then the library fully reimburses the district after it raises its own levy to collect its tax revenue. The amount of debt service for the bond is $493,387.

It is important to note that school district libraries are totally independent of the school district.

What about state aid?

The New York state budget provides Goshen an increase of approximately $721,788 in state aid for next year, for a total of $15,542,031. This is the smallest year-to-year state aid increase since the 2014-15 school year.

“It is our responsibility to provide programs that ensure our students are college- and career-ready,” said Superintendent Daniel Connor. “Even when state aid is insufficient, we have to find a way to maintain our students’ educational opportunities.”

How is the capital improvement project affecting the proposed budget?

Simply put: It isn’t. District residents approved the approximately $30.48 million capital improvement project on February 28. Funding for the capital improvement project will not come from the general fund; therefore it has no effect on the expenditures within the proposed budget.

The project will be covered by the district’s capital reserve fund, Smart Schools Bond Act money, building aid and the local tax levy.

The project is timed so that debt service from past capital projects will soon be retired, and the local share to be paid by taxes for the capital improvement project is less than the local share that is currently being paid on the retiring debt – thus resulting in no increase to the tax levy for debt service.