On March 1, Superintendent Joseph Corr and Assistant Superintendent for Business, William Furlong gave a preliminary overview of the 2017-18 budget and how it will provide students and their families the best educational opportunities it possibly can.
“We look at our resources and we know they are scarce, and we know the demands are great. But what we are here for is to promote the social, emotional and academic potential of every child,” said Superintendent Corr.
Supt. Corr recognized the budgeting process comes at a time when the district is facing significant challenges:
- Significant growth in enrollment, including the district’s special education and ENL (English as New Language) students
- Growth in the number of students living in poverty or with limited financial resources
- The need to expand and modernize district facilities to meet the demands of enrollment and to provide students with multiple 21st century pathways to success
“Our students are engaging with each other, collaborating with each other, and using technology in many ways,” said Corr. “They all look forward to the future in a very optimistic way in hopes of making a positive impact in this world. When we engage in the budget process, it’s really all about them.”
Corr explained school districts have two revenue sources, state aid and local property taxes. Since 2012, school districts’ ability to increase revenues has been limited by the following:
- Tax levy limit legislations
- State aid cuts
- GEA (Gap Elimination Adjustment–fully eliminated last year)
- Failure to fully fund Foundation Aid
Similar to the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA), Foundation Aid has never been fully funded, cutting aid to education since it was signed into law back in 2007. In addition, Foundation Aid was frozen or capped every year since 2009-10. The projected state aid for North Colonie based on Governor Cuomo’s executive budget proposal is $17,147,913 excluding building aid, which represents a decrease of $5,602 when compared to the 2016-17 budget.
“We are hoping the NYS Senate and Assembly will give more funding to Foundation Aid and we will get our fair share in North Colonie,” said Asst. Supt. Furlong.
While the numbers are still tentative as the budgeting process continues, Furlong outlined a preliminary outlook:
- Tax levy limit: 2.47 percent
- Estimated tax rate increase: 0.94 percent
- The increase would equate to 24 cents per thousand of assessed value, or $40 on the median assessed value home
On May 16, district residents will be voting on two proposals; the 2017-18 annual operating budget and the revised capital project. Ongoing discussion of the capital project will be held on March 14 and March 15. The format of both evenings will be the same.
Click here for the full preliminary budget overview presentation.