Voters approve Shenendehowa budget

Voters approved Shenendehowa Central School District's $146 million 2008-2009 budget Tuesday, May 20.

Voters accepted the budget by a vote of 2,615 to 2,304.

Passing this budget helps us maintain the positive momentum and support that we have worked hard to earn over the last several years, said Board President Bill Casey. "Every vote is a nerve-wracking process, and we view the majority support with cautious optimism, especially given the trying economic times we are facing."

The budget, which offered the district's lowest spending increase in several years, carries a 3.69 percent tax increase.

"I know they [the board] work hard to balance the budget with trying economic times and quality programming," said Ron Coleman, 42, of Halfmoon, who voted in favor of the budget.

Spending is up 5.93 percent from last year's voter-approved budget.

The district reduced the budget by $1.5 million from its initial draft, according to the board.

While all of last year's programs are included in the final budget, the budget also adds a multi-year phase in the form of a Freshman Seminar Model, which will provide transitional activities to students entering ninth grade.

The budget also provides for the restructuring of the Languages Other Than English program at the middle school, expansion of the sixth-grade technology program, a new Math and Science Technology Academy for high school students and the formation of a District Instructional Technology Integration Committee.

The average tax impact on homeowners is $93, ranging from $61 in Stillwater to $167 in Waterford. Figures are based on homes assessed at $100,000. The actual tax impact will not be available until August.

The district serves students in the towns of Clifton Park, Halfmoon, Ballston, Malta, Stillwater and Waterford.

Ballston Lake resident Sue Edick said she supported the budget.

"I am very into to the school and kids sports," Edick, 40, said.

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