N. Col. begins early budget talks

Getting a five-month head start, the North Colonie School District held a community budget forum on Monday, Oct. 18, for the 2010-2011 school year, where around 45 members of the district came to express their opinion of what direction the district should head in.

In a two-hour long forum, Superintendent Joseph Corr took to the first portion to share the general information on what the budget looks like for the year. The district put forth a proposed $91,150,000 budget for the 2010-2011 school year and a property tax rate of 3.9 percent.

Corr went through a list of reasons as to why the budget looks the way it does as he discussed the amount of state and federal funding the district would receive, why the tax rate looks the way it does and what the future may hold for its reserves.

He discussed the tardiness of the New York State 2010-2011 as it was 125 days late when it was adopted on Aug. 3, with a 2.4 percent spending increase, totaling at $136 billion. He expressed some frustration over some of the federal funding the district received, which was a decrease of over $3 million for the 2009-2010 school year to over $1 million this fiscal year, more specifically the Race to the Top Funding.

I think it's not a betrayal or revealing to say this was crafted very quickly and a lot of details have yet to be announced, he said, after making a Yankees versus Red Sox joke referring to New York placing second to first place Massachusetts.

With the state being awarded $696 million in federal funding, meant to help out with staff development, curriculum development and data tracking system improvements, North Colonie will receive $51, 922 that must be spent over a four year period.

"We have an allocation of $13,000 a year," said Corr. "Not a substantial allocation and far from being a game changer in terms of the budget situation."

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