Niskayuna School District adopts budget

On the May 20 ballot there will also be a proposition to fund the purchase of nine new school buses (four full size and five smaller buses). This proposition does not affect the projected tax rate because it will be 63 percent funded with state aid, and the remainder will be from the district's fund balance.

Two seats on the board of education are also up for election on May 20. Terry Weiner and Deborah Oriola, who currently hold these seats, are both seeking re-election. Residents interested in running for the school board may pick up nominating petitions at the district office in the Van Antwerp middle school. The two candidates receiving the most votes will serve three-year terms beginning July 1.

In other business at the Monday meeting, the board discussed the school policy on fund raisers in the school and during school hours. There has been an increase in fundraising activities in recent years, and as a result, Niskayuna school officials are planning to scrutinize their policies. The school board wants to ensure that fundraising conforms to state regulation and students aren't being coerced into giving.

School officials circulated a draft policy relating to fundraisers to board members this month. Provisions of the policy include scheduling and approval requirements. Each school principal would be given the authority to ensure that such activities don't negatively impact learning.

Board member Bob Winchester noted that fundraisers related to the junior prom involves students working together.

"There's a lot of learning and connecting that goes on," he said. "I don't want to see that destroyed."

One of the next steps in the policy review will be to discuss the policy with the parent-teacher organizations to get their perspective.""

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