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RCS revises tentative budget

The Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Board of Education revised its proposed 2008-09 budget during its Tuesday, March 18, meeting.

The revised budget shows a slight increase in proposed spending over the board's previous tentative 1.9 percent increase, to 2.19 percent.

The projected tax levy increase for residents comes in at 3.67 percent, but Superintendent Vicki Wright said that if new Governor David Paterson agrees on a different state aid package, it could decrease the tax levy impact of the proposed budget.

The district's communications director, Michael McCagg, said it looks unlikely that former Governor Eliot Spitzer's state budget proposal will stand.

We are pleased with the proposal as it moves forward, said Wright in a written statement. "We continue to review the budget line by line as we strive to develop a plan that balances the needs of students and our taxpayers."

McCagg said RCS hopes to adopt a budget by April 21 and that the next budget workshop will be held at the school on Monday, March 31, at 6 p.m.

Additions to the RCS draft budget proposal included an increase of $95,000 in the new textbook line; $11,440 for a part-time claims auditor to meet the state requirements; and $18,000 for tuition to send an additional student to Tech Valley High School.

The funding would allow three RCS students to attend the state-of-the-art technology academy, according to administrators.

McCagg said RCS would see savings in the revised budget proposal adopted this week in a number of areas.

The adopted budget includes a $300,000 reduction in private tuition costs for special education students; $61,000 saved in BOCES data processing costs; another $110,000 saved in bus purchase buyout costs; and $300,000 in savings by ending payments on a 2003 Teachers Retirement System incentive, according to McCagg.

Residents will vote on the adopted budget, as well as the budgets of local libraries and board of education elections, on May 20.

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