S. Colonie adopts $91.1 million school budget

Administrators and School Board members say they put in hard work to construct budget

The South Colonie Central School District adopted a $91.1 million budget on Wednesday, April 13 after a process which Assistant Superintendent for Management Services Beverly Miller was a difficult one.

I think it's a very good budget in comparison to other districts that have had to do severe budget cuts, she said. "I think we have done a very good job of protecting programs with a minimal amount of staffing reduction in comparison to other districts."

Some of the extra space in the budget was given by some administrators retiring, which those positions were eliminated along with some teaching positions and monitor positions. Miller said those positions would not be brought back in the near future.

Miller said the district worked very hard to put out the 2011-12 school year budget, which includes a tax levy of 2.93 percent, which the district said at one point would be 3.42 percent before the New York State 2011-12 budget was passed. The Universal Pre-Kindergarten program was restored after the extra funding came through, tacking back on 44 slots in the program.

Board of Education President Brian Casey was most pleased with those additions because he has seen the effect it has had on his own grandchild.

"It improved his speech and his attention span in the classroom as a kindergartner," he said.

Casey said that he is confident taxpayers will support the hard work the board and the district put into the budget then they go to vote on Tuesday, May 17. He added that with the way things are happening in the state government, the district had to pay close attention to what it was doing.

"With the economic state and the way things are happening downtown, we had to be prudent," he said. "We had to reduce some things and some things, unfortunately, were eliminated We tried hard and I've had conversations with folks out in the community. I think they understand where we're coming from."

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