On Tuesday, May 16, Cohoes residents will decide on a $52,340,637 spending plan for the 2023-24 school year that will allow the district to restore several positions that have been eliminated in previous years. Additionally, voters will also elect two members to the Board of Education.
This plan represents a $5,340,112 increase over the current year, with most of the added expenses offset by an additional $5 million the district will receive in state aid — an increase that stems from the state Legislature’s commitment to fully fund foundation aid by the 2023-24 school year.
In addition to allowing the district to reinstate several previously eliminated positions, the additional state aid will allow for select existing positions, which were previously funded through federal grants scheduled to expire, to be supported.
The budget proposal represents a 1% increase — or $177,498 — to the tax levy, which is the total amount of money the district can raise through property taxes. Because the proposed tax levy is within the districts’ allowable limit under the state’s tax “cap” formula, a simple majority (50% plus 1) is needed for approval. District leaders estimate that taxes on a home with a market value of $150,000 would increase by about $30 annually, or $2.37 per month before factoring in the STAR rebate.
The spending plan would fund the addition of 10.3 full-time equivalent positions to meet student needs, as well as a $100,000 capital outlay project for improvements to the Cohoes High School auditorium.
The planning process began with each of the district’s schools and departments conducting a needs assessment. The assessments and subsequent proposals were submitted to the district’s budget committee. The budget committee then conducted a return on investment analysis and made recommendations to the Board of Education of what should be included in the 2023-24 budget.
The proposed budget includes the following highlights:
- 2.0 campus safety monitors (1.0 at the middle school and 1.0 at the high school), who will also assist at the elementary schools as needed
- 1.0 English as a New Language (ENL) teacher at Harmony Hill
- 1.0 special education and 3 full-time aides for a functional skills classroom at Abram Lansing
- 1.0 teacher assistant – special program support at Cohoes Middle School
- 0.4 math teacher at Cohoes Middle School
- 0.4 social studies teacher at Cohoes Middle School
- 1.0 secretary (10-month) at Cohoes High School (restoration)
- 0.5 facilities secretary (12-month; district-wide)
- 1.0 cleaner (district-wide)
Voting will take place from noon to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16 at the district’s three polling locations: Abram Lansing Elementary, Harmony Hill School and Van Schaick Grade School. Click here to read the 2023-24 budget newsletter.