The proposed budget for the 2008-2009 school year was announced Wednesday at the West Genesee board of education meeting, with the district asking for an estimated 1.9 percent tax levy increase.
The hour-long presentation by Superintendent Joseph Proscia was met with positive reviews as he revealed the budget to the students, faculty and community members of the district.
"It includes all the areas of strategic planning they told us to pursue," said Donna Zeolla, principal at East Hill Elementary School. "You have to focus on the students and their accomplishments."
And Proscia's presentation made sure to capture the student's spirit and academic excellence at West Genesee, with pictures and awards as the focus of the presentation. One notable fact was the 98 percent graduation rate from of the class of 2007. There has been a 113 percent increase over the past 14 years in the graduation rate in the district.
The annual budget approval vote, according to Proscia, has had a direct parallel to the academic achievement by students and opportunities for students in recent years.
Keeping the tax increase lower than previous years at 1.9 percent, the district's estimated budget for the year is $68,496,895. Last year's tax levy was approximately 3.4 percent, according to Proscia.
According to board member David A. Paczkowski, this year's increase is due to increased fuel costs, insurance costs, and adding a few new positions.
The low increase left community members in attendance like Henry Nowak from Geddes responding positively to the proposal.
"I'm very enthused and appreciative the increase is so low," Nowak said. "In the past, the increases have been substantial like last year."
Other focuses for next year include career and technical education, computer and related technology, curriculum mapping online, and increased college level course participation. These goals all help Proscia pursue his theme of the presentation, "keeping connections."