GOSHEN – Last Tuesday, Goshen Central School District approved the proposed $89,199,147 budget for the 2023-24 school year.
According to the district website, 755 district residents voted yes to the budget while 274 district residents voted no. Only a simple majority of votes (50% + 1) were needed to pass the budget because the tax levy is still under the 2.8% district legal limit. This is despite a 1% increase from last year’s budget.
The district website says part of the money will go to an increase in 1.0 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff. FTE is a unit of measurement used to determine the number of full-time hours worked by employees on a given payroll. For instance, if most teachers have a workload of 40 hours per week, the FTE is 40 hours per week and that time is considered the 1.0 FTE.
A particular social studies teaching position at Goshen High School will now have a 1.0 FTE as opposed to a previous 0.6 FTE.
According to the district website, this change will help students who are looking to obtain a New York State Education Department Seal of Civic Readiness. The New York State Education Department says the seal is “formal recognition that a student has attained a high level of proficiency in terms of civic knowledge, civic skills, civic mindset, and civic experiences.”
To earn the seal, students must collect six credits by amassing some combination of advanced social studies coursework, mastery or proficiency on social studies regents’ exams, proficiency level in an elective course that promotes civic knowledge, a service-learning project, research project or a civics capstone project. When achieved, it is shown on a regent’s diploma.
“We’ll help them be more greatly prepared for life after high school and to be better informed about their obligations as a citizen in the community,” said Kurtis Kotes, the Superintendent of Goshen Central School District.
The budget will include the addition of four 1.0 FTE Academic Intervention Services (AIS) math teachers and four 1.0 FTE AIS English teachers. According to the New York State Education Department, “AIS is intended to increase achievement for students who are struggling to meet the New York State Learning Standards, as evidenced by their performance on the State assessments in English language arts and mathematics in grades three through eight.”
“This year, we watched very closely, especially in approximately grades three through eight, some of those core skills that students were deficient in having that resource of being able to bring in that additional staff and be able to carve out small groups to help close those skill gaps. We believe it’s very targeted, very purposeful, very meaningful, and will be able to help those students succeed and be able to be back at or even above grade level after receiving those additional support services,” said Kotes.