LATHAM — The North Colonie School District’s proposed $125 million budget increases spending by $7 million, or 5.9 percent, and increase the total property tax levy by just under 1.4 percent, which is the state mandated tax cap.
That equates to a tax rate increase of about .5 percent or about $24 a year for the owner of a home with a full market value of $300,000.
State foundation aid, which is not earmarked for specific expenditures like building construction or transportation, will increase by nearly 60 percent, from $12.4 million to $15.4 million. The district also received $9.8 million in federal stimulus money earmarked for “evidence-based interventions” to help students catch up if they have fallen behind in studies due to COVID-19. Potential programs and ideas eligible for funding include summer school classes, extended days, afterschool programs and extended school years. It could also be spent on helping disadvantaged students, COVID-19 related expenses like sanitizing and the emotional well-being of students.
The proposed budget includes funding for two administration positions. The first is a director of social and emotional learning and a middle school dean as well as the equivalent of five full time teachers at the new middle school building. There is also money allocated for six new positions throughout the district including the salaries for two elementary school teachers that will only be filled if enrollment continues to increase as projected.
The total expenditure for the 13.7 new full time equivalent positions is $1.4 million.
“We feel we have not only done maintenance but enhancement of programs and services in alignment with our mission and with our our three pillars of academic excellence, social emotional well-being and equity,” said Superintendent Joseph Corr. “We have put in staffing, we put in resources and we put in guidance and direction that we believe will address those three pillars.”
He said the budget incorporates a return to in person learning in the fall.
Staff salaries and benefits represent the largest increase, going to a proposed total of $102.2 million in 2021-2022 from $97 million this year and BOCES services will increase to $4.3 million from $3 million.
Board of Education
There are two, five-year term seats open on the Board of Education. There are three candidates for the seat being vacated by Ronald Von Dell, and Mary Nardolillo is running unopposed for a fourth term for the second seat.
The three candidates in the contested election are all running for the board for the first time. They are:
- Mary Alber: Is the president of the North Colonie PTA Council, secretary of the Shaker Junior High School PTA, is spearheading the charter for the Shaker High Parent Teacher Student Association and is serving as a representative on the Board of Education Budget Committee. She in information technology for the state for 20-plus years and is currently working at state Teachers’ Retirement System. She is the mother of two Shaker High students.
- Nicholas Comproski: Is a seventh grade social studies teacher in the Troy City School District and an adjunct professor at the College of Saint Rose. The Shaker High grad has coached youth baseball, soccer and basketball. He is also a firefighter/EMT at the Maplewood Volunteer Fire Department where he holds the rank of lieutenant.
- Fox Rifenberg-Stempel: The Shaker High senior is planning on majoring in political science at UAlbany this fall. The Eagle Scout is a charter member of the PTSA and serves on the Senior Events Committee. He served on the Student Representative Committee to the BOE and for the past three years, has attended nearly every BOE meeting. He works as an archivist for St. Joseph’s Church in Troy and in the summer teaches camping and wilderness survival at Rotary Scout Reservation in Averill Park.
Board of Education candidates do not run at large. The second five-year seat up for election this year is unopposed.
- Mary Nardolillo: Served two full terms from 2004-2014, then was enlisted to return to the board to fill a vacancy from 2015-2016. In 2016, she was re-elected to the seat she currently holds. She served as vice president, president, chaired the Community Board Relations Committee, the Employee Relations Committee, and for the past several years, has served as co-chair for both the Audit and Budget committees. She has served as board liaison for Shaker High School, Shaker Junior High School, and more recently for Southgate Elementary School. Prior to her retirement, Mary was an administrator for Laborers’ Local Union 190 for many years.
Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18 at the district offices on Fiddler’s Lane. Any voter who wants to vote by absentee can deliver a ballot in person by May 17. To request a ballot contact District Clerk Jane Dawson at 518-785-8591 or email [email protected]