Budget update: Plans for 2019-20 coming into focus

Through department and program presentations at Board of Education meetings in recent months, district officials have identified potential budget additions for 2019-20. At the March 19 Board meeting, the administration will outline a draft budget for next year.

The budget is guided by the district’s strategic plan, which focuses on advancing curriculum and programs, meeting student social and emotional needs and providing safe and welcoming schools for all students.

The district’s current budget is $84.2 million. All current programs and services will be maintained next year. However, additions will be modest for next year, as there is limited available revenue to expand programs and services while covering increased costs.

The Governor’s budget proposal included a minimal Foundation Aid increase for Niskayuna ($35,000) and district officials have preliminarily calculated the district’s tax levy limit next year at a 2.51 percent increase. (This may change as the process moves forward.)

“We are focused on making investments in line with our strategic plan and addressing priorities in a balanced and sustainable manner,” Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr. said.

Potential budget additions that have been discussed include elementary sections to manage class sizes, special education program growth to meet student needs, and additional student support and coordination for alternative education at the high school.

School safety and operational effectiveness continue to be central to the district’s planning. Budget considerations next year also include a new bus camera video system, facilities equipment, and increased Technology Department staffing.

2019-20 Budget Process – Key Dates

  • March 19 -Presentation of proposed/draft budget to Board of Education, 6 p.m., Hillside Elementary School
  • April 1 – 2019-20 budget discussion with the Board of Education, 6 p.m., District Office Board Room (budget adoption -tentative)
  • April 9 – 2019-20 budget discussion with the Board of Education, 6 p.m., District Office Board Room (budget adoption -if needed)
  • April 30 – Budget Statement and required attachments available in school offices, website, town hall and town library.
  • May 7 – Budget Hearing, 6 p.m., District Office Board Room
  • May 14 – Last day for absentee ballots to be requested if ballot is to be mailed
  • May 20 – Last day for absentee ballots to be requested in person
  • May 21 – School Budget Vote, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Niskayuna High School

Complete budget development calendar