The City School District of Albany Board of Education unanimously approved a $288.2 million budget proposal for the 2022-23 school year Monday night.
Supported by the state’s commitment to fully fund Foundation Aid for all New York school districts by the 2023-24 school year, the proposal maintains existing programs and services while also supporting new investments. In conjunction with separate one-time federal COVID-19 funding, the budget also would continue to support additional academic and social-emotional programs and staffing students need after more than two years in a worldwide pandemic.
The proposal includes an increase of nearly $15 million in the district’s Foundation Aid for 2022-23. In the current school year, the district is receiving about $26 million less than it should have based on the formula the state uses to determine Foundation Aid. The state has committed to eliminating that gap by 2023-24.
The proposal also invests about $3.8 million from the district’s fund balance and reserves.
The tax-levy increase would be less than 1% -- 0.9% -- for the second year in a row as the board and district continue to work to minimize the impact on taxpayers while also planning for student needs over multiple years. That is especially important with the district’s one-time federal COVID-19 relief funds set to expire in September 2024.
Including the proposed 0.9% tax-levy increase for next school year, the district’s tax-levy increase over the past nine years has averaged just under 1% annually.
The annual budget vote is scheduled for Tuesday, May 17. There also will be two board seats up for election May 17. Members Ellen Krejci and Tabetha Wilson both are running for re-election.
New items proposed in the 2022-23 budget include:
- Investments to support the district’s transition to a new feeder enrollment pattern for the three middle schools, including additional sixth-grade staffing and up to six additional CDTA tripper buses.
- A playground for students at Albany International Center and the Dual Language Program, which are located at Edmund J. O’Neal School of Excellence at 50 Lark St.
- Please note that there also will be a separate item on the May 17 ballot – Proposition #3 – that, if approved, would allow the district to purchase two parcels of land for the playground construction.
- Additional security staff and equipment
- Additional custodial workers, as well as maintenance equipment for snow removal and school deliveries
- Additional English as a New Language teachers
- An additional speech therapist
- Increase in sports supervision to support growth in the athletics program and a return to regular competition levels
- Additional funding for technology hardware and software
- Continuation of our HVAC preventive maintenance program
- Funding for a pool service contract to support all five district pools
- Continued expansion of the Dual Language Program
- Full restoration of the middle-school grades at Tony Clement Center for Education
- Increasing energy costs (electricity, natural gas)
Two propositions, two board seats also on the ballot
In addition to the 2022-23 budget proposal, Albany voters also will be asked to consider two additional school district propositions May 17 as well as two seats on the Board of Education.
Proposition #2 would authorize the district to complete $10.1 million in energy upgrades through an energy performance contract, or EPC. Proposition #3 would allow the district to purchase three small plots of land in Arbor Hill for a playground and recreational space for Edmund J. O’Neal School of Excellence.
Neither of these proposals would have any additional impact on taxes.
Board of Education election
Two seats on the Board of Education are up for election May 17.
Board members Ellen Krejci and Tabetha Wilson both are seeking re-election to four-year terms. Krejci was first elected in 2015 and, if re-elected May 17, will serve her third term. Wilson was appointed to fill a vacancy in 2017 and elected in 2018 to a full four-year term. She would begin her second full term July 1 if re-elected.
The deadline to submit petitions is April 27. Visit our Board of Education section for more information, or contact Board Clerk Tanya Bowie at (518) 475-6015..