Board adopts 2018-19 school budget

Tax levy increase is below the district’s cap

At its March 27 meeting, the Board of Education adopted an $84.2 million budget proposal for the 2018-19 school year. The community will vote on the budget at Niskayuna High School on Tuesday, May 15.

The proposal calls for a 2.64 percent tax levy increase, which is below the district’s limit based on the state tax cap calculation.

The spending plan continues all current student programs. The tax levy increase supports a series of additions, including new positions, to help manage class sizes, expand special education programming, and strengthen student support systems – a top budget priority.

The proposed budget includes additional elementary social worker staffing and funding to locate a school-based mental health clinic at a district elementary school. At the middle schools, the budget provides for the transition from part-time dean of students model to having a full-time assistant principal in each school who is available to students before, during and after school.

Additional teaching staff next year will help manage class sizes at the elementary level, through the continued implementation of the flex zone plan, and at Van Antwerp Middle School.

View the full list of budget additions

Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr. said the district’s strategic plan served as a guide for budget decisions. The plan calls for a focus on curriculum and programs, environment and culture, and partnerships. The budget additions are based on the strategic areas of focus and needs identified by school leaders through their ongoing work with faculty, staff and families.

Tax Levy Limit and Efficiencies/Cost Savings

Although the state’s tax levy limit is commonly referred to as a “2 percent” cap, the law requires each district to use a multi-part formula to calculate its limit. For Niskayuna next year, the limit is 3.07 percent, meaning the district budget proposal contains a tax levy increase below the cap.

As he presented budget information to the Board of Education, Dr. Tangorra also outlined steps the district is taking to operate efficiently and concentrate limited resources on services that directly benefit students. These efforts include shared transportation services, cooperative bidding, and developing special education programs that limit the cost of out-of-district placements and provide some tuition revenue.

Budget Vote and Additional Information

The school budget vote will take place on Tuesday, May 15, at Niskayuna High School. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

In addition to the budget, voters will also decide that day on a proposition to purchase six replacement buses as part of the district’s long-term bus replacement plan, and fill two seats on the Board of Education.

Budget information will be shared at a series of presentations in the weeks leading up to the vote and the annual school budget newsletter will be mailed to all residents in late April/early May.

View the 2018-19 Proposed School Budget Book (Large file – 445 KB)

If you are unable to access the budget document, please contact or call (518) 377-4666, ext. 50707 to make arrangements to have the document provided to you.