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2019-20 Budget News

The City School District of Albany, like public school districts across New York, is in the process of developing a budget proposal for the 2019-20 school year. Voters in Albany and statewide will go to the polls Tuesday, May 21 to decide on the proposals.


Albany voters this year also will have the opportunity to consider a facilities package that would have no additional impact on taxes, and to fill two seats on the Board of Education.


The board is scheduled to discuss the budget proposal at its meeting March 21 at North Albany Academy. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. You can download the March 7 budget presentation, which outlines the current status of the district's preliminary budget-development work.


As of the board's March 7 meeting, the district is facing a budget gap of $6.7 million before any proposed tax-levy increase or other savings. School districts in New York won't get their final revenue estimates for 2019-20 until the state approves its budget for next year, which is due April 1.


The district's tax-cap figure for 2019-20 is 2.87 percent. This figure, set by the state based on several factors, is the maximum percentage that the district can increase the tax levy with approval of a simple majority of voters (more than 50 percent). Districts and municipalities that propose a tax-levy increase above their cap require at least 60 percent approval.


The board will determine the proposed 2019-20 tax-levy increase in the final stages of the budget-development process in late March or early April; the district never has proposed an increase greater than its tax cap since the state implemented that measure in 2011. The district’s average tax-levy increase over the past five years has been less than 1 percent – 0.634 percent.


In addition to the budget vote May 21, voters also will have the opportunity to vote on the following school-related items:

  • A package of district-wide facilities work with no tax impact.

    • This referendum will include a proposal to expand and renovate North Albany Academy to create a new 650-student middle school, and a five-year facilities plan to address needs at many buildings. The total amount of the facilities package would be a little more than $45.5 million. This proposal would have no impact on taxes. It would be funded with $15 million from the district's Capital Reserve Fund, and the balance in state building aid.

      • North Albany middle school proposal -- Last November, the board approved a proposal to expand and renovate North Albany to serve as a third district middle school (along with Hackett and Myers middle schools). The proposal also includes renovations to expand Arbor Hill Elementary School. The plan was developed over three years with extensive community input and feedback. It is intended to serve the district's growing enrollment and to meet the goal of educating all students in grades 6-8 in equitable middle school settings. The district currently serves about 250 sixth-grade students in elementary schools because there is not enough space in the middle schools (Hackett, Myers and O'Neal).

        • If approved, the renovations at Arbor Hill would be completed by the fall of 2022 and the new North Albany middle school would be ready for the start of the 2023-24 school year.

        • The overall cost of this proposal would be about $31.9 million with no tax impact.

      • Five-year facilities plan -- The district is proposing a wide-ranging five-year facilities plan that includes 84 projects at 17 buildings.

        • The overall cost of this proposal would be about $13.7 million with no tax impact.

  • Board of Education elections.

    • This is the second year that Albany voters will elect board members in May instead of November. The state moved Albany’s school board elections to May in 2017 to be in line with nearly every other public school district in New York. The terms of President Anne Savage and board member Damarise Alexander-Mann expire June 30.

Please visit our BoardDocs section to review budget materials throughout the entire budget-development process.  


Get informed. Then get involved.

The City School District of Albany's annual budget-development process begins in the fall and includes dozens of public meetings throughout the winter and spring, and the opportunity for all community groups to have a district representative provide a presentation about the proposed budget in April and May.


In addition to budget discussions at board meetings from January through early May, the annual budget-development process includes two January budget workshops and school-based community budget updates in early March.


The Board of Education approved the 2019-20 budget-development process and calendar at its Nov. 29 meeting. Here are key dates and milestones:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 8  -- Public budget workshop I, 5:30-7 p.m., Albany High School media center.

  • Tuesday, Jan. 15 -- Public budget workshop II, 5:30-7 p.m., Albany High School media center.

  • Thursday, Jan. 17  -- Board of Education meeting, Albany School of Humanities, 7 p.m. Review of Gov. Cuomo's 2019-20 state budget proposal.

  • Thursday, Jan. 31 -- Board of Education meeting, William S. Hackett Middle School, 7 p.m. First-draft budget proposal.

  • Thursday, Feb. 14 -- Board of Education meeting, Albany High School, 7 p.m. Further discussion and revisions on first-draft budget proposal. Download the presentation.

  • March 7 -- Board of Education meeting, Eagle Point Elementary School, 7 p.m. Second-draft budget proposal.

  • March 4-5 -- Community budget presentations. Please visit our District News section for specific dates and locations. Watch a video from the presentations.

  • Thursday, March 21 -- Board of Education meeting, North Albany Academy, 7 p.m. 

  • Thursday, April 4:

    • Board of Education meeting, Albany High School, 7 p.m.

    • New Scotland-Woodlawn Neighborhood Association, First Congregational Church, 405 Quail St., 7 p.m.

  • Tuesday, April 16 -- Board of Education meeting, Albany High School, 7 p.m.

  • Thursday, April 18 -- Pine Hills Neighborhood Association, LaSalle School, Hamner Center, 391 Western Ave., 7 p.m.

  • Tuesday, April 23 -- South End Neighborhood Association, Albany Public Library Howe branch, 103 Schuyler St., 6 p.m.

  • Wednesday, May 1 -- Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations, Albany Public Library Washington Avenue Branch, 161 Washington Ave., 6:30 p.m.

  • Tuesday, May 9

    • Budget hearing, Albany High School, cafeteria, 6 p.m.

    • Buckingham Lake Neighborhood Association, Albany Public Library Pine Hills branch, 517 Western Ave., 6:30 p.m.

  • Tuesday, May 14:

    • Beverwyck Neighborhood Association, Orlo School of Hair Design and Cosmetology, 232 N. Allen St., 7 p.m.

    • Montessori Community Council, Montessori Magnet School, 45 Tremont St., 6:30 p.m.

  • Tuesday, May 21 -- School budget vote and Board of Education elections

We also make frequent use of this website and social media tools such as School News Notifier, Facebook and Twitter to provide information and updates. We encourage you to sign up today. Use the respective links to sign up if you're not already registered.


Please call Director of Communications and Operations Ron Lesko at 475-6065 or send an e-mail if you have any questions or would like additional information.


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