On May 17, Cohoes residents will decide on a $47,000,525 spending plan for the 2022-23 school year that will bolster educational programming and enhance the safety and functionality of the school buildings. Additionally, voters will also elect three members to the Board of Education.
This plan represents a $3,363,608 increase over the current year. Most of the increase (approximately $2.5 million) would be funded by the district’s additional allocation of Foundation Aid.
The budget proposal includes a 1.04% decrease, or -$177,674, to the tax levy, which is the total amount of money the district can raise through property taxes. The decrease is a result of a change in PILOTS (payment in lieu of taxes) to the district. The negative tax levy is offset by an increase of more than $500,000 in PILOT payments in 2022-23.
Because the proposed tax levy is within the district’s 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 $41 annually, or $3.42 per month, before factoring in the STAR rebate.
The planning process began with each of the district’s schools and departments conducting a needs assessment. The assessments and subsequent proposal 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 2022-23 budget.
The proposed budget includes:
- A full-time science teacher and part-time world language teacher at Cohoes High School.
- A full-time special education teacher (currently part-time) at the high school and a full-time functional skills special education teacher at the middle school.
- Additional English as a New Language (ELL) support.
- A full-time speech teacher for the middle and high school; existing staff will serve the elementary schools.
- A new math series for elementary students.
- A full-time groundskeeper.
- Additional safety and security personnel at the high school and middle school.
Voting will take place from noon to 9 p.m. at the district’s three polling locations: Abram Lansing Elementary, Harmony Hill School and Van Schaick Grade School.