Following an extensive review of program priorities, the South Colonie Board of Education adopted a proposed budget on May 14 totaling $107,000,975. The proposal includes a number of cost-saving measures, including reductions in positions in order to close a financial gap of $3.2 million dollars.
The budget calls for a 2.02 percent spending increase over the current school year, and an increase in the district tax levy of 2.92 percent — below the state tax levy cap for South Colonie of 2.97 percent.
Although assessment and equalization rates will not be known until August, the district estimates the average Colonie property owner with a home market value of $175,000 would pay $7.27 per month more next school year.
In January, when New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo presented his executive budget proposal, South Colonie Central School District was tentatively set to receive a 1.43 percent, or $234,250, foundation aid increase. But when the final state budget was adopted in April, the proposed Foundation Aid increase had been removed in its entirety. In addition to less state aid for schools in the adopted state budget, the governor has forecast possible mid-year budget reductions for schools statewide.
Amid the uncertain fiscal condition caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, during 2020-21 budget planning, the district adjusted for anticipated decreases in revenue combined with increased expenditures in areas that can fluctuate on an annual basis. Overall, the administration and Board of Education have worked to address the most immediate needs to ensure vital programs and supports remain in place for the 2020-21 school year.
- Full budget Q&A including details on preserved/expanded programs and proposed reductions can be found here.
- View the adopted budget and Bus Proposition details here.
Annual school budget vote and board election to be held June 9 by absentee ballot
In an executive order issued on Friday, May 1, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that this year’s school budget vote and board of education election will take place on June 9, exclusively by absentee ballot due to the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Qualified voters on the last five years’ poll lists will be automatically sent an absentee ballot. Anyone who meets the definition of a “qualified voter” but does not believe they will be on the school district’s poll list (which includes names of residents who voted in the last five school elections), please contact District Clerk Amber Flanders by email at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible to ensure timely receipt of an absentee ballot for the 2020 school budget vote and board election.