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Budget & Voting Information

Ms. Kathleen Wetmore, Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs
Academy Park
Albany, NY 12207
Phone: 475-6020

Budget vote: Tuesday, June 20, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Budget Basics

  • Spending plan: 169,874,460

  • Budget-to-budget increase: $12,835,828

  • Tax rate: 7.09 percent increase, or an additional $1.61 per $1,000 of assessed property value

Resident to vote June 20 on a
revised $169,873,460 budget

Proposed 2006-07 spending plan keeps educational programs intact; avoids restrictions of a contingency budget

The Board of Education has decided to submit a reduced budget to the voters to avoid the restrictions of a contingency budget.

If this budget is not approved by the voters on June 20, the district would be required to adopt a contingency budget to take effect July 1. Under a contingency budget, state law prohibits the district from spending money associated with the community use of buildings, as well as for equipment, student supplies and certain raises.

The proposed, reduced budget is $500 less than what spending would be under a contingency budget. There is no difference between the estimated tax rate increase in the revised budget, and the increase projected under a contingency budget.

Budget Links

Budget newsletter

Polling Places

The proposed budget is $102,472 less than the budget voters defeated in May, and the estimated tax rate increase has been reduced from 7.20 percent in the initial proposed budget to 7.09 percent in the reduced budget.

As with the initial budget, the revised budget maintains academic programs and funds new initiatives. It supports an educational plan focused on student improvement with measures to better gauge student progress, identify students who need help, and provide that support. The proposed budget also includes more enrichment opportunities and enhanced alternative education programs.

The revised spending plan reduces the overtime budgets of 12 district departments, the Board of Education budget, and eliminates the planned purchase of some maintenance equipment.

Estimated Tax Rate Impact
2006-07 Proposed Budget

Per $1,000

*Tax Bill

2005-06 tax rate: .......... ..............................$22.86

2005-06 tax bill: ....... .......................$2,286
2006-07 tax rate: .......... ..............................$24.47 2006-07 tax bill: ....... .......................$2,447
Estimated change: ......... ........................... ..$ 1.61 Estimated change: .. ........................$ 161
*Based on a property value assessment of $100,000 and a 7.09 percent tax rate increase

The revised budget is below contingency level in a year when the fixed costs of utilities and the mandated costs of charter schools and related services make up more than 75 percent of the estimated tax rate increase.

Charter school payments will not be affected if the revised budget is approved or defeated. State law requires the district to make payments to charter schools based upon a formula the district has no control over.

*Estimated Tax Impact
for Homeowners

With Basic Star

With Enhanced STAR

2005-06 tax bill: ....... .................... $1,619

2005-06 tax bill: ....... ..................... $1,175

2006-07 tax bill: .................... $1,73 2006-07 tax bill: ....... .................. $1,258
Estimated change..... ...................... $  115 Estimated change...... ....................... $   83
*Based on a property value assessment of $100,000 and a 7.09 percent tax rate increase

The revised budget still includes the elimination of a net total of

 41.4 positions that were proposed to be eliminated in the budget proposed in May, as well as a 10 percent reduction in supplies, materials and equipment budgets from the current school year.

"To cut any further could have resulted in diminished academic programs," Superintendent Eva Joseph said. "This revised budget funds specific measures designed to help the district accomplish its goals for student achievement."

The following are some highlights of how the budget plan meets these goals.

Budget goals

Goal 1: All schools will meet and exceed New York State
education standards.


Successful programs and practices, such as full-day prekindergarten and kindergarten, and elementary foreign language
instruction, will continue. The budget also calls for new math standards at the middle school level. A new initiative is the
implementation of primary grade assessments, which will
measure elementary students’ growth and identify The proposed budget funds current safety programs, including recently introduced
security initiatives. The “Know Your Body” health curriculum in grades K-6, as well as school nursing and breakfast programs
will continue.

Goal 2: The "achievement gap" will be eliminated while maintaining academic challenges for students districtwide

The budget funds a full continuum of special education services, as well as efforts to increase integrated special education services. The district will continue to emphasize literacy through programs such as Reading Recovery and the Columbia Writing Project. Also, the district recently announced a partnership with the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education (NUA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing success for all students. District officials plan to further this initiative through state and federal special aid funds, which are not included in the general
fund budget that voters will consider May 16.

Goal 3: Successful smaller learning communities, including alternative education programs, will be established at the middle and high school level

The district will continue its efforts to develop smaller learning communities within its schools by implementing a plan for these environments at Albany High School, an initiative which does not carry a spending increase. The budget calls for Harriet Gibbons High School to be redesigned as a program with academic and social support to prepare ninth graders to later meet academic
challenges at Albany High School. The district will also continue to provide alternative programs with partners such as the University at
Albany, and additional support for students enrolled in middle and high school programs at the Alternative Learning Center.

Goal 4: Safe schools and student health will remain a priority

The proposed budget funds current safety programs, including recently introduced security initiatives. The “Know Your Body” health curriculum in grades K-6, as well as school nursing and breakfast programs will continue.

Goal 5: Continue to rebuild Albany schools (facility plan targets)

In the coming year, the district plans to open the new School 16 and the new School 18. Additionally, the complete renovation and
historic preservation of Hackett Middle School will begin this summer.

Budget vote: Tuesday, June 20, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

 

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