"We came together as a community throughout this process. At our budget forums, residents and staff had an opportunity to offer feedback and explain their vision for our schools," said Spring. "With all four of our bargaining units offering concessions for next year, the cuts ended up not being as drastic as we had originally envisioned."
Salary freezes from teachers, along with cutting two professional development days, saved around $457,000 and restored about six FTE teaching positions to the budget. Support staff members gave back one day's pay to restore a typist position. Administrators, supervisors and directors also took a salary freeze to restore nearly 1 FTE position.
"As a school community and as educators we have come together and agreed to a level of shared sacrifice that will keep teachers in the classroom and ultimately benefit all of our students," said Spring in a statement.
Employee benefits costs increased by $1.18 million in the budget, while instruction costs decreased by around $1.78 million. Transportation, district support and operations and maintenance costs also decreased too, totaling $83,460. Debt service costs for the district also increased by almost $860,000. The budget includes a fund balance usage increase of $150,000 totaling $1 million for the budget and reserve appropriation totaled $800,000.
Assessment values will be finalized by Town of Rotterdam in the summer, but a home assessed at $150,000 in Rotterdam is projected to see a tax increase of $57. Also, a home assessed at the same value in Guilderland would see a $67 tax increase and in Colonie an $85 increase.
If the proposed 2011-12 budget fails to pass the district could push forward a contingency budget holding a 1.92 percent tax increase. This would include additional cuts to student supplies, community use of buildings and grounds, some equipment purchases and salary increases.""