The budget committee for Greater Albany Public Schools voted unanimously May 16 to approve the proposed budget for 2016-17.

The Albany School Board is scheduled to take up the budget for a hearing on June 6 and may choose to adopt it that night. Public input will be taken.

The 2016-17 budget calls for a general fund of $99,877,856, up from the current budget of $89,964,674. It relies in part on spending $2.7 million of the ending fund balance to cover all expenses.

Planning for enrollment growth and special education needs are among the highlights of the coming budget. 

Superintendent Jim Golden has said he wants to add 11.7 full-time-equivalent teaching positions, a full-time autism specialist and $50,000 for professional clinical assessment for student emotional and behavioral needs.

He also has budgeted for a half-time staff member to cover an intensive behavior and communication program for students who need more intervention than the standard resource room usually provides.

Another 1.5 FTE will be used to help reduce existing special education caseloads at Memorial and North Albany middle schools and West Albany High School.

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Jennifer Moody

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