The Amherst School Board has approved a budget of $40.39 million for the 2007-08 school year.
Mark Whyle, the district's director of administrative services, presented the revised budget to the board during a business meeting Tuesday. The budget was unanimously approved by the board.
The proposed budget is a $1.6 million increase from the 2006-07 budget and represents a projected 1.5 percent increase in the property tax, Whyle said.
The board approved the budget after agreeing to defer a $60,000 supplement to the music budget and allocating those funds instead toward a shortfall in the technology budget.
The $60,000 music budget supplement is the fifth in a five-year long-range plan to upgrade the district's musical instruments. The change in funding to the technology department would not affect the regular music department budget, Whyle said.
Board Vice President David Stocking said he had concerns that a previous budget draft cut $50,000 from the technology budget and said he supported the reallocation.
"Your point is technology is changing, but a tuba is still a tuba," board President William Blanford said in response to Stocking's point.
"I just caution the group that I don't think the technology budget is going to come down again in the near future," said board member Michelle Scirto Flinto, who said the district will face the challenge of upgrading to Microsoft's Vista operating system and may have to address backups and other hardware.
When district residents go to the polls May 15 to decide the fate of the 2007-08 budget, they will consider a proposed $16.8 million capital improvement project that would expand the size of the kitchen at Windermere Boulevard Elementary School and authorize a 38,000-square-foot addition to the school cafeteria.
If approved, the capital project would have little impact on the tax levy because of reorganization incentive aid that has recently become available, Whyle said.
"We will still have a levy impact, but we have reason to believe it will be very consistent with what we've seen in the past," Whyle said.
The district would not have to begin making payments on a capital project bond until 2008-09.
A public hearing on the proposed capital project will be held at 7 p.m. May 1 in the Amherst Middle School cafeteria, followed by a public hearing on the proposed 2007-08 district budget at 8 p.m., in the Board of Education office on the second floor of the middle school.