Budget information: 2020-21

Albany voters will consider a $261.6 million budget proposal in this year's annual vote. The proposal would minimize the local tax impact while continuing to support nearly all of the district’s current programs and services.

This year's budget vote is being conducted entirely by mail due to the COVID-19 crisis. Voters also are asked to consider Proposition #2, a proposal that would allow the district to buy a small piece of property with no additional impact on taxes. One seat on the Board of Education also is up for election. Ballots were mailed during the week of May 26. Ballots returned in person are due by June 9 at 5 p.m. Ballots returned by mail must be received at Academy Park by June 16 at 5 p.m. 

You can read our budget edition of Capital Education to learn more about all items on this year's ballot. The district also mailed the budget newsletter to all homes in the city.

You also can view the full 2020-21 adopted budget here.

Please read below for updates and additional information.

Latest budget news

Thank you, Albany!

June 17, 2020

Record participation, near-record approval for 2020-21 budget

Voting during COVID-19 closure

As with all school districts in New York, the budget vote and board election will be conducted entirely by mail this year due to COVID-19.

Visit our voting during closure page for more information, including step-by-step guidelines for completing and returning your absentee ballot.

Budget timeline and events

The Board of Education approved the 2020-21 budget-development process and calendar at its Dec. 5 meeting.

Additional events related to the budget-development process can be found below. 

You can also download this document which outlines the budget timeline.

We’re sorry, no events were found for this calendar.

Legislative priorities

At the start of each school year, the Board of Education’s Government Relations Committee takes the lead in shaping the district’s top legislative priorities for the next fiscal year in partnership with the superintendent and staff. 

Committee members then engage in an active cycle of legislative advocacy throughout the fall, winter and spring to educate state leaders on the district’s top priorities and the related benefits for students and families. 

These are the district’s top legislative priorities for the 2020-21 school year:

The focus that Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature have placed in recent years on providing additional assistance to high-needs districts is the right thing to do for students and families statewide. Our district receives only about 75% of our Foundation Aid funding, and only 45% of our total budget comes from state aid. This is a significantly lower percentage than other similar Upstate New York school districts – for example, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Schenectady, Troy and Utica all receive 58% to 81% of their funding through state aid. We are requesting an increase in our state aid to 55% for 2020-21. We also urge our state leaders to continue to focus on funding equity by re-evaluating the formula without consolidating or capping certain aid categories.

In Albany, this inequity is exacerbated by the fact that more than 60% of our city’s property is tax-exempt, much of it due to our role as New York’s Capital City. In re-evaluating the Foundation Aid formula, we ask that the state build in a new factor that considers the percentage of tax-exempt property within a community.

To learn more about this legislative priority, you can view the following document(s):

Transportation is a critical tool for addressing chronic absenteeism, which is a leading indicator of low student performance. The state’s transportation law currently limits our ability to provide bus service for many children who do not have a safe route to walk to school because the criteria for Child Safety Zones does not account for crime rates and the density of vacant buildings. The Assembly and Senate have legislation pending that would address this matter (A7242/S5719). We are asking for support in passing this legislation and adopting the necessary regulatory changes.

To learn more about this legislative priority, you can view the following document(s):

 

We offer 1,025 prekindergarten seats for 3-year-old and 4-year-olds. However, the pre-K funding formula penalizes districts like Albany that were early implementers of full-day pre-K more than a decade ago. More than half of our seats (552) continue to be funded at the old UPK base allocation of $4,105, less than half of some current pre-K streams. We strongly advocate raising our funding for those 552 seats to be equitable with more recent funding streams, such as EPK ($7,882). This would provide our district with an additional $2.1 million. That would offset our own annual General Fund investment ($1.3 million in the current year), which is necessary to sustain our pre-K offerings. It also would support investments to attract and retain high-quality, certified pre-K teachers, offering our youngest learners an even stronger foundation as they begin their academic journey.

To learn more about this legislative priority, you can view the following document(s):

We fully support raising the age of criminal responsibility. The state’s efforts to raise the age and implement other measures including Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS), Bail and Discovery reforms are the right thing to do. However, as an unintended consequence, school districts like ours have had a dramatic increase in justice-involved students. Those students need additional services, and our district needs support to provide those services so that we can do our part to ensure that these reforms will have a positive impact on our students and families. For 2020-21, we are requesting an additional $500,000 to fund positions that are critical to providing the supports our justice-involved students need, including social workers, behavior specialists, guidance counselors and school psychologists.

To learn more about this legislative priority, you can view the following document(s):

Our ENL enrollment has more than tripled in the past six years to nearly 1,300, about 11% of total enrollment. Our students represent more than 55 countries and speak 49 languages, and we are deeply committed to our English-language learners (ELLs) and their families. In recent years we have invested more than $2.2 million to address these needs and meet the mandated requirements of CR Part 154. We urge the state to provide additional support for districts like ours that have large ENL and refugee enrollments, and have demonstrated the initiative to invest in unique supports for this often-fragile student population.

To learn more about this legislative priority, you can view the following document(s):

Our district is a strong advocate for sustained Community Schools funding, and we are grateful to Governor Cuomo for proposing an increase in our Community Schools aid for 2020-21. With the support of Community Schools funding, we have been more able to engage students and families in meaningful ways. Together with our community partners we are expanding afterschool academic and enrichment programs, as well as medical, dental, mental health and social services. We are advocating that Community Schools funding be considered categorical aid separate from our Foundation Aid. We appreciate the state’s continued support for Community Schools investments. 

To learn more about this legislative priority, you can view the following document(s):

Budgets from prior years