COLONIE — Now that the state aid is finalized, the proposed North Colonie Central School District budget will increase spending from $111 million to $116 million and the tax rate by 1.9 percent.
The amount raised by property taxes will jump from $85 million to $87.8 million, for a tax levy increase of 3.29 percent, which is below the state mandated property tax cap of 3.35 percent.
The estimated tax rate increase of 1.9 percent equates to about 49 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, or about $84.97 more per year for the owner of a single family home assessed at $172,000, which carries a market value of about $300,000 since the town is not at full assessment.
The largest increase is staff salaries, which will jump from $64.6 million to $67.8 million, or 4.86 percent. That includes money allocated for 9.5 full time equivalent teaching positions at the elementary school level, which are needed to accommodate an ongoing spike in enrollment. According to the proposed budget, spending for K-12 instruction will increase from $35.7 million to just under $37 million.
Three new teachers will be hired at Southgate and one each at Blue Creek and Boght Hills. The district is also looking to hire a new English as a New Language teacher at the elementary and secondary level, a teacher to be placed based on enrollment and a special education instructor. Those salaries are all $59,125 with a benefit package worth $21,285.
Also, a part time physical therapist will be added at a salary of $29,563. A special education supervisor at a salary of $93,461 with a fringe package worth $33,646, which will replace an abolished position.
The district is also looking to hire three full time positions for instructional support including two teachers aids for total of $52,928 with salary and benefits, and a technology assistant for Shaker Junior High School at $50,057.
Money allocated for a secretary at $41,014, two part time computer lab aides at $24,155 and a copy room operator for $29,489 will be eliminated through attrition.
In all there is $691,826 allocated for the new positions.
District wide, the cost of employee benefits will increase from $21.8 million to $22.8 million. Health insurance is projected to increase by 10.5 percent, from 12.8 million to $14.2 million.
An increase of $2.4 million is projected in debt service, from just over $2.9 million to just over $5.4 million. The district is currently undergoing a massive, multi-million project to reconfigure the elementary schools and convert the Shaker Junior High School into a middle school and move all sixth graders into the new facility.
The administrative component of the budget constitutes $16.1 million of the total budget, the program component represents $85.3 million and the capital component represents $14.8 million.
In the 2020-21 school year, it is expected that the district will need to allocate money for 10 new teachers.
Until that happens, the elementary schools are bursting at the seams. From the 2014-15 school year to what is projected in 2019-20, enrollment has spiked from 2,524 to 3,036. Overall, from this year’s enrollment is 5,837 is projected to jump to 5,958.
On the revenue side of the budget, state aid is projected to increase by 10 percent, from $16.7 million to $18.4 million. Building aid is also projected to increase by 10 percent, from $2.5 million to $2.7 million.
A cost savings, because the stock market is doing so well, the district’s retirement expenditures will decrease by 10.26 percent, or from $5.2 million this year to $4.6 million in 2019-10.
There are two seats on the School Board open and there are two candidates.
Matt Cannon, the president of the Shaker High All Sports Booster Club is a newcomer to the board looking to replace the outgoing Avideh Sadaghiani.
And Pennie Grenell is an incumbent looking for another term on the board.
Voters across the state will get an opportunity to weigh in on budget proposals on May 21. In North Colonie, voting is from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Goodrich Building on Fiddlers Lane.