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School Budget Voting Taking Place Today

17 May, 2017, 12:58 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • REPORTER FILE

When the polls closed on Tuesday, May 16, New Paltz Central School District voters supported the proposed $59 million budget that comes with a 2.3 percent tax levy for the 2017-18 school year.

There were no surprises in Montauk, where the $18.8 million budget for next year was approved by a vote of 115 to 8, and Kelly White, an incumbent running for her third five-year term, won it with 112 votes. Voters also approved the purchase of a 65-passenger school bus at a maximum cost of $118,172, with 75 voting in favor and 41 voting against.

The budget would also fund 12 new positions, including four graduation coaches, four special education teachers and a district literary coach. Heather Welch received 694 votes; Alan Barone drew 67.

Taxpayers approved budgets in Marcellus and all of the school districts in the Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES as spending plans were put up to vote statewide Tuesday. The school board winners were Glenn Nealis and Marrk Schneider, with 207 and 293 votes.

The library budget passed with 2,083 votes (4.6%).

"We have expressed our concerns with school finances and that we need to do something about getting an increase in state funding to take the burden off property taxes", board member Albert Miller said. However, voters will be asked in a separate proposition to allow the district to replenish the fund with end-of-year surpluses for four more years, finishing out the fund's 10-year term.

The idea of the cap was to control the amount of the tax hike, not to eliminate increases completely.

Even so, local property owners will not be hit with an increase in school-related property taxes.

And he says the school budget affects everyone, whether you have kids in the schools or not. Next year, the Christmas break will be December 22 through January 2 - a total of 12 days.

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Board member JulieMarie Shepherd argued that the title of the resolution - "A resolution to keep Aurora Public Schools a safe and inclusive school community" - was too broad and made it sound like the resolution helped all students, when it doesn't, she said.

In board reports, Eastland Elementary School Principal Angela Mahoney gave an update on the district's new remedial summer reading program, for K-2 students whose reading skills are significantly below grade level.

For a property assessed at $79,280 - the district median - that means an annual school property tax bill of $3,111.

A public hearing on the budget was held on May 3 at Howell Middle School North.

Voters also approved establishing a capital reserve fund, with 588 voters supporting the measure and 135 opposed.

Residents also voted to fill two seats on the board of education. Also when looking at vacation days during the second semester next year, students will get back the President's Day holiday on February 19, as well as an additional day over Easter (March 29-April 2) for a total of five days off for the holiday. Voters also approved the school district's 2017 Capital Improvements Project, with 251 voting in favor and 78 voting against.

Bedden will leave the school system on June 30, 2017.

In Downsville, the budget passed 85-19, and school board member Brian LaTourette kept his seat with 97 votes.

The new budget will support the projected enrollment of 895 students as well as 116 district employees and a contracted dentist, physician and athletic trainer. The expenditure is temporary, since the library will eventually reimburse the school district when it sets up its own levy.

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