The Shenendehowa Board of Education adopted a $146 million 2008-09 school budget Tuesday, April 1, that would raise district taxes about 3.69 percent the smallest tax hike the district has seen in years.
Initial figures estimated a tax rate increase of 5 percent, but board members worked to keep the tax rise low in thinking of the other rising expenses facing their district taxpayers.
The projected budget increases spending by $8.1 million, with the addition of a second year of high school alternative education serving more students, the start of a Math-Science-Technology Academy and increased nursing and athletic-training services.
In order to maintain existing services and programs one more year, the district had to budget at least $144 million, which represents a 4.6 percent increase from last year's $138 million budget.
The superintendent received more than $4.6 million in new requests for equipment, personnel, supplies and instructional media, which the administration reviewed and prioritized into four categories.
Health and safety was their first priority, accounting for $410,834 of the $4.6 million.
Priority two was programs accounting for $2,461,309, priority three was enhancements at $403,106 and priority four was wish list items adding up to $1,374,169.
Of the $4.6 million in requests, $2 million was included in the preliminary budget.
The districts' enrollment is expected to grow at a slower pace than previous years, according to the Capital District Regional Planning Commission, who presented its findings to the Board of Education in November.
Special education standards and the No Child Left Behind act were expected to impact the budget based on the need for personnel and supplies according to the district's Preliminary Assumptions for 2008-09 Budget Development.
The district will hold a public hearing on the adopted budget, in accordance with New York state law, Tuesday, May 6.
District taxpayers will vote on the adopted budget Tuesday, May 20. If approved, the tax bill for an average Clifton Park homeowner, with a house assessed at $143,919, could rise about $145 to $4,061, according to district projections. In Halfmoon, the average tax bill could rise an estimated $141, in Malta $91, in Waterford $84, in Ballston $126 and in Stillwater $69, according to the district."