School District Revises Budget Proposal, Still Calls for Override

The Board of Education voted 7-0 at its April 21 meeting to put before voters a 2015-2016 budget totaling $82,884,603. It calls for a 6.85% total tax increase, 4.36 % on top of the allowable 2.49 % levy.

Published May 2, 2015 3:47 PM
2 min read

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The Board of Education voted 7-0 at its April 21 meeting to put before voters a 2015-2016 budget totaling $82,884,603. It calls for a 6.85% total tax increase, 4.36 % on top of the allowable 2.49 % levy.

By Sarah Varney

The Board of Education voted 7-0 at its April 21 meeting to put before voters a 2015-2016 budget totaling $82,884,603. It calls for a 6.85% total tax increase, 4.36 % on top of the allowable 2.49 % levy.

 

According to the Board, 27 districts, including Edgemont, out of 700 in New York State, are seeking tax cap overrides in 2015. In 2014, 44 districts sought such an override.
The budget additionally includes the use of $1.3 million from the reserve fund, which currently stands at $10,499,883.

Board members stated at previous meetings that a tax cap-compliant budget would leave the District short and necessitate cuts of at least $3,500,000. Board President Laura Slack pointed to unfunded state mandates and the ever-increasing costs of special education and its attendant transportation expenses, as a major cause of higher spending and tax increases. “Our special education costs have increased by 35% over the last ten years,” said Slack.

Former Board member Bob Zahm objected to the continued use of fund balances to pay for higher spending. “To achieve a sustainable budget, you can’t use reserve funds,” said Zahm. “I’m still on the fence, but at this time I would vote ‘no’ on the override because they haven’t solved the sustainability problem.”

Over the past week, Parent Teacher Organization presidents, board members, and members of Friends of the Rye City School District led sessions explaining the budget to parents and others in the community. On May 5, the Board of Education meeting will be devoted to a public discussion of the budget.

The budget vote is May 19. A majority of 60% is needed in order for the override budget to pass. In 2014, both Ardsley and Irvington voted in favor of an override, while Scarsdale residents rejected one.

 

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