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What you need to know for 08/17/2017

Closing a school off table as option for balancing Niskayuna budget

Closing a school off table as option for balancing Niskayuna budget

The Niskayuna Central School District Board of Education formally voted late Wednesday night to take

The Niskayuna Central School District Board of Education formally voted late Wednesday night to take the option of closing a school off the table as the district faces a $6 million gap between revenues and expenses.

The board had discussed closing an elementary school or one of the two middle schools.

However, if the proposed school budget is rejected by voters, district officials said, they would have to consider the possibility of closing a school in a revised, smaller budget plan.

In addition, the board made further trims after The Gazette’s publication deadline on Wednesday. The revised tax levy increase stands at 7.16 percent, which is well above the district’s tax levy cap of about 4.7 percent and would require approval of 60 percent of voters.

The board has so far agreed to eliminate nearly nine full-time instructional positions including an elementary enrichment teacher, librarian, guidance counselor and social worker and portions of positions in art, business, English, family and consumer science, math, music, physical education, social studies and technology. In addition, directors of departments are going to increase the number of sections they teach from one to two.

Also on the chopping block is a secretary, clerical assistant, groundsman, two cleaners and the freshmen sports program.

A tax levy increase of about 7 percent would result in an additional $336 per year for a Niskayuna home assessed at $250,000, for a school tax bill of close to $4,800.

The board is scheduled to adopt a budget at its April 9 meeting at Van Antwerp Middle School.

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