Schenectady County

Schenectady school board extends superintendent’s contract

A year before Superintendent Laurence Spring’s contract would have expired, the Schenectady City Sch

A year before Superintendent Laurence Spring’s contract would have expired, the Schenectady City School District Board of Education agreed to keep him for another four years.

“We’re pleased with the work of the superintendent of schools,” said board President Cathy Lewis at Wednesday’s board meeting.

The contract was approved by a vote of six in favor. Board member Dharam Hitlall abstained.

They also decided to give him a raise of $3,700. With that raise, his salary for the next school year will be $188,520.

Lewis said she felt the raise was fair.

“One of the things we need to understand at this school district is that we’re not a farm system. We’re not here to train people and pass them on. We want to keep them,” she said. “So I felt very strongly about this particular action.”

The board also gave raises to management confidential employees, who are not covered by union labor contracts. Those employees will all get a 2 percent raise, the board decided.

The board also set its tax rate for the upcoming school year at $22.60 per $1,000 of assessed property. That’s a little higher than the school board had estimated before the budget vote in May.

They had hoped the typical homeowner, with a house assessed at $101,000, would pay less than $2,200. That homeowner will actually pay $2,283, before STAR exemptions.

Costs increased because of many successful tax challenges, particularly from corporations, and a high equalization rate. The high rate suggests Schenectady’s assessments are higher than market value. Assessments are supposed to reflect what the property owner would get in an open market sale.

For the few residents of Rotterdam who are in the district, the tax rate is $27.814 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Bills will go out by the end of July, to be collected quarterly. Due dates are Sept. 2, Oct. 31, Jan. 31 and Apr. 30. Unlike last year, residents who want to pay in person must go to First Niagara bank branches; Key Bank is no longer collecting taxes for the district.

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