At its April 19 meeting, the Cohoes City School District Board of Education adopted a proposed $52,340,637 spending plan for the 2023-24 school year that will go before voters on Tuesday, May 16.
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 district’s allowable limit under the state’s tax “cap” formula, a simple majority (50% plus 1) is needed for approval on May 16. 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 STAR exemptions).
This plan represents a $5.3 million 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.
The additional state aid would allow the district to restore several positions that had been eliminated in previous years. The state aid will also allow for select existing positions, which were previously funded through federal grants scheduled to expire at the end of this school year, to be supported.
The spending plan would fund the addition of 10.3 positions to meet student needs, as well as a $100,000 capital outlay project for improvements to the Cohoes High School auditorium.
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Proposed staff additions:
- 2.0 campus safety monitors (1.0 at middle school and 1.0 at high school)
- 1.0 English as a New Language (ENL) teacher at Harmony Hill
- 1.0 special education teacher and 3 full-time aides for a functional skills classroom at Abram Lansing
- 1.0 teacher assistant – special programs support at Cohoes Middle School
- 1.0 secretary (10-month) at Cohoes High School (restoration)
- 0.4 math teacher at Cohoes Middle School
- 0.4 social studies teacher at Cohoes Middle School
- 0.5 facilities secretary (12-month; district-wide)
- 1.0 cleaner (district-wide)
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 Board will hold a public hearing on its proposed budget at 6 p.m. on May 3 in the Cohoes Middle School Library.
The annual school budget vote and Board of Education election will be held 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.
Board of Education election
Voters will also elect two members to the Cohoes City School District Board of Education, each to serve a three-year term beginning July 1, 2023. Members of the Board of Education are elected by the voters of the district and are responsible for policies and regulations governing public education in the district.
To appear on the ballot, interested candidates have until April 26 to submit completed petitions. More information on running for the school board can be found here.
Details of the proposed budget will be mailed to all district residents following the budget hearing on May 3.