Schenectady school budget passes

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Updated: 5/20 11:21 pm

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – The Schenectady City School District was facing cuts, but residents voted to approve a budget that would save extracurricular activities.

The 2014-2015 budget, which has been approved by the board, was cut by $3.5 million. That cut means 40 jobs will be lost, electives will be cut, and class sizes will increase. 

Some parents questioned whether it will affect the quality of their kids' education. The budget also called for a tax levy increase on residents. 

Residents voted 1,051 to 489 to accept the board’s budget.

“Thrilled,” Schenectady School Board president Cathy Lewis said of the vote. “It’s a difficult process. We did everything. We got a little bit more aid, so I think we’re up to 55 percent of our foundation aid as opposed to 54 percent.”

Resident Kevin Adams agreed.

“The voters made the right choice. I think the school board has been doing a really good job this year,” he said. “I’m very impressed with the $74 million that they got from different grants to do the Capital Funding Project, and I think they did a good job on the budget as well.”

But only two people ran for the three school board seats. As a result, a write-in candidate will fill the void in the $164 million budget. Barbara Metcalfe is vying for that opportunity.

“I have a flavor for it, and I know what the people are expecting from the district, and I think I can help,” she said. “I have a financing background. I have a child background.”

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