JPS School Board Incumbents Re-Elected, Budget Passes

JAMESTOWN – Incumbents Nina Karbacka and Daniel Johnson were re-elected Tuesday night to the Jamestown Public Schools’ Board of Education.
The two defeated Brianne Fadale, a former coach and special education teacher at Lincoln Elementary School.
Both will serve three-year terms beginning in July.
City residents also passed the nearly 90 million dollar budget by a vote of 419 to 63.
In a statement about the budget, Jamestown Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Bret Apthorpe said, “This proposed budget includes a zero increase in the tax levy while introducing new and important fiscal tools to protect the future of student programming.”
Two propositions also passed establishing a capital reserve fund and a student ex officio board of education member.
Apthorpe hoped voters would approve a proposed capital reserve fund, which would act like a savings account for the district.
“I call this a ‘community fund’ because it legally requires voters to approve establishing the fund, with up to two million dollars, from unused budget funds,” said Apthorpe. “It also requires voters’ approval for any withdrawal from the fund, and it can only be used for capital work.”
The Superintendent hopes to use up to $100 million for repairs, maintenance and upgrades to the district without borrowing or taxation.
“You are probably aware that Jamestown is highly dependent on state aid. Currently, 12 percent of the JPS budget goes to debt payment.  If state aid to the district decreases, we are, of course, still required to pay off any debt.  We must take action to lower this debt to protect student programming and maintain a stable tax rate. This proposition addresses important capital work that is needed in the district without adding to district debt,” said Apthorpe.
The budget would also bring a daylong summer literacy program for students in kindergarten through fourth grade, re-open Rodger School as a “Success Academy” providing year round education to help students with life skills and academics and allow the district to work with local businesses to directly align a curriculum towards local employment upon gratification.
The results remain “unofficial” until the canvas of votes Wednesday evening.