BROADALBIN - Officials of the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District want to gauge public interest in forming a foundation to support the school district.
District officials will hold an informational meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the high school media center to talk about the role a foundation could play.
"It's no secret that public schools have fallen on hard times in the past few years," District Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson said at Monday's school board meeting. "The 2 percent tax cap and unfunded mandates make budgeting very challenging. What we can control in our spending, we will control."
Tomlinson was referring to the property-tax cap recently approved by the state.
The school district has had to raise taxes by 16 percent and 6 percent in the last two years.
Tomlinson said salaries and benefits, as well as special education, are the largest mandated expenses for a school district.
He said the difficult economic climate makes it necessary to "think outside the box," and the foundation could be part of that.
Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School is one district that already has a foundation. District Superintendent Lynn Macan said the group has its own all-volunteer board of directors, none of whom is employed by the school district.
"The idea was to be able to supplement things that were getting harder and harder to fund through the budget process," Macan said.
The foundation is a 501-c-3 not-for-profit corporation, Macan said. Committees are formed to raise small amounts of money to pay for enrichment programs, purchase supplies and materials and finance special projects, she said.
The New York State School Boards Association offers guidance to school districts wanting to form foundations.
The organization can help districts establish goals and objectives, work with the school district, set policies and generate ideas for fundraising, according to the NYSSBA website.
John R. Becker can be reached at email@example.com.