Draft 2019-20 budget contains modest additions to address needs, build capacity

Tax levy increase of 2.35 percent in preliminary plan is below the projected cap

At the Board of Education meeting on March 19, Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr., presented a draft $87.5 million budget for 2019-20 that continues all current student programs and some modest program additions and other investments to meet student needs, manage class sizes, and increase capacity in priority areas.

The draft budget carries a tax levy increase of 2.35 percent, which is below the tax levy limit that district officials anticipate. (The final cap has not yet been determined because the district is awaiting more information related to state building aid, which factors into the required tax cap calculation.)

The Board will continue its budget discussions at its meeting on April 1 and, if necessary, on April 9.

Budget additions in the draft spending plan include:

  • The restoration of a full-time library media specialist at each middle school;
  • A high school alternative education teacher coordinator;
  • Three additional elementary class sections to continue to implement the class size management plan;
  • Increased special subject area staffing based on the three new class sections, moving to a full-time art and music educator in each elementary school, and increasing kindergarten music instruction to twice per week;
  • A part-time increase in English as a New Language teaching staff;
  • A dedicated school social worker for the Intensive Management Needs program at Birchwood;
  • Reallocating special education staffing to establish a new Communications and Skills Development class at Hillside (resulting in K-5 programming in-district for students on the Autism spectrum);
  • Transitioning from a contracted part-time athletic trainer to a full-time trainer
  • with more availability to students; and
  • Funding for a half-time director of technology and a systems technician and a network technician.

“As we planned for next year, our focus was squarely on using available revenue to meet demonstrated student needs and make targeted investments to build capacity in areas critical to moving forward,” said Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr.

Community Budget Presentations & Key Dates

  • Monday, May 6: 
Community Budget Presentation, Schenectady JCC, 11 a.m.
  • Monday, May 6: 
Community Budget Presentation, District Office Board Room, 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 7: 
Budget Hearing, District Office Board Room, 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 9: 
Community Budget Presentation, Niskayuna Town Library, 1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 14: 
Last day for absentee ballot requests if ballot is to be mailed
  • Monday, May 20
: Last day for absentee ballot requests in-person
  • Tuesday, May 21
: School Budget Vote, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Niskayuna High School