May 15 is school budget vote and school board candidate election in Monroe-Woodbury and Tuxedo
Voters go to the polls next Tuesday, May, 15, to assess school spending for the coming year and to elect their neighbors to the school board.
May 15 is the annual, statewide school district budget vote/election of Board of Education members. Unlike federal, state and local municipal budgets, school district budgets are ones where taxpayers directly approve or disapprove them, versus having elected officials making those financial decisions on behalf of constituents. And while school districts officials cannot tell voters how to vote, they encourage people to exercise their right to vote. Here’s a recap of the 2018-2019 school budget highlights and board candidates for the Monroe-Woodbury and Tuxedo school districts: Monroe-Woodbury School DistrictProposed budget highlights • A proposed $176,593,137 budget • A 3.15 percent increase from the previous year • A tax levy increase of 2.86 percent, below the district’s legal limit as defined by New York’s tax levy cap legislation. • The proposed budget increase is mainly tied to increases in salaries and benefits, which accounted for 1.12 percent of the 3.15 percent increase, due to a 7 percent increase in health insurance premiums. District wide salary increases ---primarily tied to contractual agreements, accounted for 1.22 percent of that 3.15 percent increase. • It includes the addition of four, full time equivalent (FTE) teaching positions: a district wide certified behaviorist/psychologist and a district wide English Native Learner (ENL) teacher in addition to a new high school Earth Science teacher to address the need for more Advanced Placement (AP) sections and a new high school health teacher allowing for the introduction of a new “Generation Health” curriculum. • The proposed budget also includes the return of part-time Kindergarten teaching assistants at Smith Clove and Sapphire elementary schools. The total number to be hired will be finalized once the total number of kindergarten classes is finalized. • The proposed budget also includes an increase of approximately $390,000 for district wide security enhancements. Full budget details are available at: http://www.mw.k12.ny.us/about/budget/ with select information sent in a mailing to district taxpayers. Proposition Authorizing $1.068 million for the purchase of seven, 72-passenger buses, one 72-passenger bus with undercarriage storage and two, eight passenger Chevy Suburbans. More than 60 percent of the vehicles’ cost will be covered by state aid. Board of Education election This year’s election is uncontested with three candidates vying for three open seats: • Anthony Anderson, incumbent • Christopher DiLorenzo, incumbent • Dawn Tauber Candidate statements appeared in last week’s edition of The Photo News and remain online for review. Tuxedo School DistrictProposed budget highlights • A proposed $13,181,372 budget • A 4.09 percent decrease over the previous year • A tax levy reduction of 5.46 percent over the previous year. • The major portion of the tax levy reduction comes from the district not replacing debt that is expiring for at least the upcoming year. • The proposed budget includes a reduction of a .8 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) position that covers both George Grant Mason School and George F. Baker High School. Two propositions • Establishment of a $250,000 Buildings and Facilities Improvement Reserve Fund to assist in addressing items in need of replacement. • Establishment of a $150,000 Repair Reserve Fund. Full budget details available at: http://www.tuxedoufsd.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_1210127/File/Business%20Office/Budget%2018-19/Budget%20pres%2004-05-18.pdf, with select information sent in a mailing to district taxpayers. Board of Education election Five candidates vying for three open seats: • Allyson Arber, current Board of Education president • Kimberly Breiland • Paul DiPaolo • Donna Posta • Mary “Meg” Vaught, incumbent See page 20 of this week’s Photo News for candidate biographies and their position statements on community, financial and academic issues and challenges facing the district. - Nancy Kriz