Niskayuna board approves budget

The Niskayuna board of education approved a $76.4 million budget with six members of the board in favor of the budget and board member Bob Winchester in opposition during their March 31 special meeting.

The $76.4 million budget includes a 2.64 percent increase from last year's budget and a tax levy increase of 2.40 percent, with homes assessed at $250,000 seeing an increase of $97 from last year's levy, or $4,189 for the 2010-11 school year,according to Assistant Superintendent for Business Matthew Bourgeois.

Board of Education President, Jeanne Sosnow, said the budget is a very sound budget for the district in lieu of the economic climate and is sensitive of keeping the tax levy low, according to information from the district, the 2.40 percent tax levy represents the fifth consecutive year of declining tax levy increases in the district.

\We are thinking of this long term, said Sosnow. "We are trying to plan to anticipate next year's budget, which we expect to be even more difficult."

The district faced a reduction of state aid near $2.4 million in the next year, and the removal of 24.5 full time employment positions throughout the district. School Superintendent Kevin Baughman said it is hard to say that he is proud of the budget that he has put forth for the coming year, but is working to keep programs in the district in tact with cuts in state aid and the possibility of more cuts in future budgets. Baughman also thanked the board for their work during the budget process, at no compensation, to make the difficult decisions inside the district.

The residents of the Niskayuna School District will vote on the budget on May 18.""

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