School budgets approved regionwide
Bethany Bump is reporting in the Times Union school spending plans in the 42 districts in the Capital region were overwhelmingly approved by voters in the annual budget vote and board elections held Tue., May 17. On average, Capital Region schools are prepared to spend and tax more than other districts around the state. Spending will rise 2.87 percent at schools across the region next year, compared to 2.1 percent statewide. Districts were generally able to avoid huge tax hikes in the coming school year due to a large increase in state aid. In Columbia and Greene counties, all propositions were approved, Tuesday. In Chatham, three Board of Education incumbents were re-elected by a wide margin. In Ichabod Crane, incumbent Michael Stead was unseated, while newcomers Matthew Nelson and Jeffrey Ouellette were the top vote-getters. Incumbent Anthony Welcome took third place. In Cairo-Durham, all four propositions passed, including the proposal to purchase a third of an acre of land to expand the Cairo-Durham Elementary School parking. And in Catskill, the Catskill Public Library budget passed on a four to one margin. Overall, local voter turnout appeared low. In Catskill, a total of 450 voters weighed in on the proposed spending plan; in Hudson, a total of 641 people cast a budget vote.