BC budget approved by voters

The $97.1 million Bethlehem Central School District Budget for 2017-18 passed today by a margin of 2,346 to 503, or approximately 82 percent in favor to 18 percent opposed.

Voters were asked to elect three candidates to serve on the Bethlehem Central Board of Education from a slate of eight candidates. The vote is too close to call. Write-in votes and absentee ballots will be tabulated on Wednesday, May 17 to determine the three top vote-getters.

The eight candidates who appeared on the ballot are listed below:

  • Ryan Richman

  • Patty Michaelson

  • Holly Dellenbaugh

  • Erik J. Smith

  • Samuel L. Spitzberg

  • Meredith Moriarty

  • Christine Beck

  • Willow Baer

In addition, a proposition to replace 13 large buses and two small buses at a cost of $1,595,000 passed by a vote of 2,115 to 715 or 75 percent to 25 percent.

Thank you to all who came out to vote! Please check back on Wednesday for updated results.

2017-18 Budget Snapshot

  • Total Budget: $97,123,000
  • Spending Increase: 0.6%
  • Tax Levy Increase: 0.43% 
  • Use of Fund Balance: $0

Budget Highlights


  • Increases 1.0 FTE librarian to fully support all school buildings

  • Adds English as a New Language teacher to meet mandated requirements and increased demand (0.4 FTE)

  • Increases nursing staff (1.0 FTE)

  • Funds robotics competitions

  • Upgrades district’s emergency notification system

  • Increases Assistant Transportation director position from part-time to full-time (0.4 FTE)

  • Restores Special Education Pre-K Chairperson position (0.4 FTE)

  • Reduces 2.0 FTE Special Education teachers based on enrollment

Elementary Schools

  • Adds two elementary bus routes to reduce ride times for K-5 students in Clarksville area

  • Adds 1.0 FTE School Counselor/Social Worker

  • Replaces software used for Response to Intervention (RTI) for differentiated instruction to help early learners

  • Reduces 1.0 FTE teacher based on enrollment

  • Adds noon aide coverage at Slingerlands

  • Provides additional art supplies

  • Adds 1.0 FTE Certified Behavior Specialist

Middle School

  • Eliminates two Grade 7 sections (1.7 FTE) to meet projected enrollment needs

  • Adds Introduction to Engineering Design course (0.2 FTE)

  • Adds training for Project Lead the Way science and engineering instructors

  • Adds 3D printer for use by technology classes

  • Replaces software used for Academic Intervention Services (AIS) for differentiated instruction to help struggling learners

  • Adds Studio in Media Arts course (0.2 FTE)

  • Adds morning aide coverage for students arriving early

  • Adds French Club

  • Adds 0.1 FTE Physical Education

High School

  • Adds CISCO Networking course (0.4FTE) and materials

  • Adds technology equipment for student use (Vex & Vernier)

  • Adds a plotter printer for design use

  • Adds 1.0 School Counselor/Social Worker

  • Adds 0.3 FTE English

  • Adds 0.3 FTE Social Studies

  • Adds 0.25 FTE Science

  • Adds 0.1 FTE Physical Education

  • New software for AP Computer Science (Edhesive)

  • New software to improve student writing (Turnitin)

  • Advisors for extracurricular clubs including Pep Band, Acoustic Jams, Gay Straight Alliance, No Place for Hate, Best Buddies

  • Restores Environmental Club


  • Adds assistant coaches for lacrosse, field hockey, basketball, baseball and softball

  • Creates a Unified Bowling Team for students with and without disabilities

  • Adds equipment including new field hockey cages and camera system