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North Colonie prepares budget presentation

Rybaltowski also said that by paying for many school district items with cash, the district has been able to maintain a "reasonable tax rating without finding ourselves in red ink."

Ehrenberg believes that this year's budget represents the two pillars that, she said, make the district's schools stand out: a fiscally well-managed school system with a low tax rate, and high academic achievement with nearly 97 percent of students graduating with Regents diplomas.

"Trying to keep those pillars is a constant juggling act, but the community supports our proposed budget," she said.

Many people throughout the community have had a large involvement in the budget process, according to Ehrenberg, beginning with the school administrators who started the process in October. After all the administrators propose what needs to be included in the budget for their individual schools, the School Board meets for seven nights and goes over the propositions line by line, giving each item, "very careful consideration."

When the proposed budget all comes together, Ehrenberg said, there are not many surprises in regard to what the administrators ask for funding for. The North Colonie Central School District keeps an "Annual Evaluation Report," which documents the annual costs to run each program within each school per student.

With the budget now adopted, both Ehrenberg and Rybaltowski said they look forward to future events in which the budget will be discussed in front of the community, including the next Parent Teacher Association meeting at Shaker Junior High School, in which the PowerPoint presentation will be shown to the public on Thursday, April 3.

So far Ehrenberg believes that by working with the community, the district was able to efficiently get an effective budget done.

"This will be a good year in North Colonie," she said. "Working on the budget has helped us realize what's good for our children.""

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