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Community-based Budget Committee schedules public workshops in January

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 6, 2011) – The City School District of Albany’s Community-based Budget Committee has scheduled two workshops in January for members of the public to learn more about the district’s budget process.

 

The workshops will be held Thursday, Jan. 12 and Tuesday, Jan. 24. Both will be held in the Albany High School media center from 5:30-7 p.m. Members of the community are invited to attend both sessions.

 

The workshops will precede a series of Board of Education budget meetings throughout the winter and spring, beginning with the Feb. 2 meeting at Albany High. The board is scheduled to adopt the 2012-13 budget proposal in April, and the budget vote is set for May 15.

 

The Budget Committee’s purpose is to provide a means to better educate the community in the area of public-school finance, which will enhance community members’ ability to understand and effectively participate in the district’s annual budget process. To this end, committee members will act as ambassadors to their communities with the goal of helping to educate a broader public and provide feedback to the district at its open budget meetings. Each member of the City of Albany Common Council and each PTA has been asked to recommend an individual from their wards to serve on the committee.

 

Topics covered at the Jan. 12 workshop will include:

  1. Explanation of the budget process

  2. Explanation of the district's budget

    • Pie graphs of revenues and expenses

    • Highlight two primary revenue streams

      • State aid

      • Local school tax

    • Highlight primary expenses

      • Salaries and benefits

      • Special education

      • Bonds, transportation, charter schools, etc.

Topics covered at the Jan. 24 workshop will include:

  1. Explanation of the school tax bill

    • Three components

      • Increase in school tax

      • Changes in STAR aid

      • Changes in assessments

  2. Explanation of fund balance and reserves

    • Legal restrictions

    • Utilization of fund balance and reserves

    • Long-range planning and stability

  3. Explanation of state aid

    • Foundation Aid

    • Expense-driven aids (special education, transportation, building aid, etc.)

The district also is seeking members for a High School Facilities Advisory Committee, which will study options for the future of Albany High. Stay tuned for more information about that opportunity.

 

The mission of the City School District of Albany is to educate and nurture all students to be responsible citizens, critical thinkers and lifelong learners to successfully compete in the global community by providing an academically rigorous and safe environment in partnership with parents, students and the community. The district serves nearly 8,700 students in 15 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students, including four themed academies at Albany High School.

 

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