Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

New York School Districts Brace for Budget Votes

New York School Districts Brace for Budget Votes

The next school board meeting is planned for 7 p.m. June 18 in the administration building.

The proposed 2018-19 spending plan is $27,894,313, an increase of $489,197, or 1.79 percent over the current budget.

There are also two candidates for the board of education, James Maio and Martin Kelly.

The proposed spending plan also contains a $10 per capita tax, a one percent earned income tax, which is shared with municipalities; and a $52 emergency municipal service tax, from which the district receives $5 and participating communities are allotted $47.

On Tuesday, May 15, both the Pennsylvania primary elections, as well as the New York State school budget and board member elections will take place.

The district's budget woes are due, in part, to a decline in student enrollment.

In compliance with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the Board will consider declaring the District's need for fully qualified educators and will consider approving previously-reviewed new science course materials that would be used next year at Martinez Junior High School.

But, this time it is Muskegon Public Schools that must find a way to deal with a budget shortfall threatening the district's stability.

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A full 100 percent of districts' spending plans in Nassau and Suffolk counties - 124 budgets in all - passed in the initial round of balloting at this time previous year, meaning that no revotes were needed in June.

Appointed positions for the 2018-2019 school year will also be up for a vote Monday.

Because of those potential cap-piercings, in those two districts the proposed budgets for 2018-19 must be OK'd by 60 percent of those voting to pass, rather than a simple majority.

Board members Catherine Wega, Christine Swailes, Sherri Newell, Larry Schuler, Patrick Musto, Ed Dudick and Susan Allen supported the plan with Gary Youngblood and Kristin Pitarra voting against it. According to the district's website, if approved, this budget would see the annual school tax bill for the average homeowner rise by $33.

Instead, they welcome the challenge of governing districts with budgets in the millions of dollars, or, as they phrase it more modestly, it's a way of giving back.

In addition, there are three candidates for three available Board of Education seats.

"We were very impressed with the high quality of the initial candidates we interviewed this week, making this a hard decision", Board Chairman Dr. James Smith said. The seat on the three-member board was vacated by longtime member Joseph Louchheim, publisher of the Press News Group, who decided not to seek reelection after serving three, three-year terms on the board. Any increase to the tax rate will be offset significantly by lowered maintenance costs, the district said in its budget newsletter.

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