Residents approve Niskayuna Central School District 2010-11 budget

UPDATED 5/19/2010

Residents in Niskayuna voted to pass the $76.4 million 2010-11 school budget on Tuesday, May 18, with board of education members Debbie Gordon, David Hudson and President Jeanne Sosnow retaining their seats.

The $76.4 million budget includes at 2.64 percent increase from the 2009-2010 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 for a total of $4,189 for the 2010-11 school year, according to information from the district. The budget reflects a decrease in aid from the state level, presenting a $2.1 million revenue shortfall for the district. The district reduced $2.4 million in expenditures in the baseline budget , including 24.5 full-time equivalent positions including 13 teaching assistant positions, two administrator positions, four faculty positions and three clerical support staff positions, according to the district's Web site.

Alongside cuts to make up the $2.1 million shortfall from state aid, the district was able to add programs to the budget to move it forward, including the foreign language program for third-graders, the Explorer Program for high ability students at the elementary school level and new high school elective courses in math, English, science and technology.

The proposed budget passed with 1,908 votes in favor and 1,235 votes against. Voters also approved a proposition to purchase 11 buses with 1,887 votes in favor and 1,240 votes against.

Although the budget passed, some residents said they were concerned about the increase.

I'm relatively new to the area, and I want to be involved in the process of not being so taxed, said Tim Massie, 27. "I want to be a part of reducing taxes, not increasing them. We should be keeping teachers and not buying buses that we don't need."

Niskayuna Superintendent Kevin Baughman said in a release that the district is happy for the support from the community.

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