Niskayuna school district voters on Tuesday approved the district’s $93 million proposed budget for the 2021-2022 school year by a relatively narrow margin with 53% in support of the proposal.
Voters also elected new board member Aliya Saeed, a mental health professional, to her first term on the board and reelected Howard Schlossberg to his third term.
The budget, which drew a split 4-3 approval when the school board adopted the proposal last month, earned the support of 1,423 voters compared to 1,276 against. The approval rate was among the lowest in the region.
The budget stirred some frustration among parents after an earlier proposal eliminated an elementary class section, which was later restored, and the board members who opposed the proposal last month had called for a budget with no staff cuts.
Voters also defeated a separate ballot question asking whether voters would lengthen school board terms from three years to four years. The change would have taken effect for members elected next year, but voters rejected the proposal by over 250 votes.
“While this has been a challenging year, we look to the future with much optimism,” Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra Jr. said in a statement after the results were announced. “As we seek to regain a sense of normalcy next year, this budget provides for the learning, growth and support opportunities our students need and deserve.”
Saeed earned the most votes, followed by Schlossberg and Benjamin O’Shea, the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake band director running for a seat on the Niskayuna board. Incumbent Noney Grier earned the fewest votes. The newly-elected board terms begin July 1 and go through June 30, 2024.