Budget vote Tuesday, May 15
Continuing to preserve academic, extracurricular
and social-emotional programs for all of the City School District of
Albany’s 8,700 students is a key part of the proposed $207.7 million
budget that voters will consider Tuesday, May 15.
So is keeping spending in line.
The 2012-13 budget proposal includes a 1.5
percent increase in the tax levy, following a year with zero tax-levy
increase and, ultimately, a reduction in
school taxes for Albany
“This year, like in the past several years, we
have tried to strike that balance between maintaining programs that help
all of our students succeed and remaining mindful of what our community
can afford,” said Superintendent Raymond Colucciello, Ed.D. “With
dwindling state support and an urgent mission to raise achievement for
all students, this has been a challenge.”
The basics and beyond
The 2012-13 budget plan would continue supporting
core academic programs in math, English, science, social studies and
It also would continue support for
academic-intervention services, special education services and
alternative-education programs at all levels, as well as breakfast and
lunch programs in every school.
If voters approve the budget, the district
also will continue to provide additional programming at every level,
Full-day prekindergarten and
kindergarten at all 12 schools
Three themed magnet schools
The bilingual Dual-Language Program
at Delaware Community School
Art, music and
Family and consumer sciences
Foreign language (Spanish and
Modified sports for seventh- and
English language arts and math
Art, music and library
Band, chorus and orchestra
Before- and after-school programs
Summer transition program to prepare
eighth-graders for high school
Summer technology camp for sixth- and
Four themed academies: Citizenship, Discovery,
Leadership and Innovation
18 Advanced Placement courses
International Baccalaureate program
Career and technical education through
Abrookin Career and Technical Center
a one-of-a-kind collaboration with the University at Albany that
provides nanotechnology courses in the classroom and at UAlbany’s
College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering
A variety of summer programs to benefit
students at all levels
JV and varsity sports
Art, music and library
Band, chorus and orchestra
Tutoring and mentoring programs
College prep options at Saturday academies
A range of choices for families
From prekindergarten through high school, Albany’s
public schools provide families with options.
For the early years, the district gives families
the option of sending their children to one of nine neighborhood
elementary schools or three themed magnet schools.
In middle school, the district provides three
state-of-the-art facilities: Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School and
William S. Hackett Middle School (both serving grades 6-8), and North
Albany Academy (serving prekindergarten-grade 8 and featuring a unique
partnership with the North Albany YMCA).
Each middle school offers a range of resources and
services, from fully equipped science and technology labs to specially
equipped resource rooms and
social-worker offices to help students
that struggle academically or emotionally.
Four new academies.
One great education.
The 2012-13 budget would build upon the $7.5 million federal grant the
district was awarded in September 2010 to restructure Albany High School
into four smaller academies.
Each academy – Citizenship, Discovery, Innovation and Leadership – has a
unique theme that is shaped by the elective courses it offers and
instruction built around each theme.
The proposed budget also would continue to support Saturday academies,
which are supported by teachers and feature APEX Learning, a web-based
program that helps students catch up and get ahead on their school work.
In addition, the budget would continue to support AVID (Advancement Via
Individual Determination), a college-readiness program designed to
increase the number of Albany High graduates who enroll in four-year
Staff and program cutbacks
Rising costs in health care, retirement benefits, salaries and
charter-school payments coupled with the loss of state funding for a
fourth consecutive year
meant that the district once again had to
find ways to save.
The 2012-13 budget proposal calls for $3.8 million in staff and program
This includes eliminating 38.4 regular or contractual positions and 35
daily substitute positions (15 teachers and 20 hall monitors). The
district cut 250
positions over the last three years.
The proposed job cuts this year include more than 20 teachers, 12
support staff in special education, five maintenance workers, an
elementary assistant principal and an after-school coordinator. The
budget also would downsize two assistant superintendent positions to the
Two prekindergarten classes offered in district schools would be
converted to community agencies in 2012-13. This would bring to 23 of 31
pre-K classrooms in district schools that would be operated by community
agencies; all pre-K classrooms will continue to provide the same
programs and services for all students.
Electives with low enrollment at Albany High also will be discontinued
based on students’ requests for courses.