New Rochelle Board Of Education Adopts $245M Schools Budget

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The New Rochelle Board of Education unanimously approved the schools budget.
The New Rochelle Board of Education unanimously approved the schools budget. Photo Credit: File

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The New Rochelle Board of Education has adopted a $245.45 million schools budget, representing a property tax levy increase of 1.41 percent for homeowners.

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The adopted spending plan represents a 2.5 percent budget-to-budget increase over last year. The public will have the opportunity to comment on it at a 7:30 p.m. hearing on May 6 at the New Rochelle High School library, and the public vote will be held on May 20.

This year’s budget will decrease the student-to-teacher ratio in the classroom, increase STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and other education opportunities while maintaining all staff positions and improving safety. This is the first time in six years that New Rochelle hasn’t been forced to reduce its per pupil allocation.

Interim Schools Superintendent Jeffrey Korostoff said that he and the board were forced to take a hard look at the programs and school services which could be cut without damaging the district’s core activities.

“While our district has not yet turned the corner in difficult financial times, we do believe the pendulum is poised to begin an upward movement,” he said. “This is what we anticipated and announced a year ago, and most all of our financial projections and planning have proven to be accurate.”

Improving school safety is something that the Board of Education stressed in this year’s budget. The district will spend $50,000 on keyless entry systems, nearly $100,000 on window shades and $15,000 for a visitor management system at the high school. An additional $80,000 has been allotted for new public address systems and other safety devices.

Korostoff said that the district underwent an audit study by Vigilant Resources International that provided a series of recommendations on how safety could be improved.

“In an era when schools can no longer be viewed as a safe haven, we continue to dedicate funds to provide for the safety and security of our students and staff,” he said. “The ongoing training necessary to provide our district security with the capacity to keep our students and staff safe also remains a priority in this budget.”

The district, like countless others around Westchester County, continues to be plagued by escalating unfunded mandates. Since 2008, retirement contributions have increased from $15.6 million (3.3 percent of the budget) to more than $23 million (9.4 percent), even while reducing staff.

“The most important dynamic in the education of children is the interaction in the classroom between the student and their teacher,” Korostoff added. “This is the focus of our work and it is also the centerpiece of this spending plan. We estimate that over 75% of the dollars in this budget directly support classroom instruction and the provision of related pupil services.”

The complete budget can be reviewed here. What do you think of the adopted budget? Vote in our poll and continue the conversation in the comments section below.

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Comments (4)

"But it's for the children..." And, how about all the legacy-costs? Give us (taxpayers) a break!

And, one last comment: Tax increases are virtually occurring every year... How can any young family afford to buy a house and raise a family & live in Westchester? Love to hear an answer from the politicians, union members and yes-- taxpayers.

Wikipedia defines Misappropriation as the intentional, illegal use of the property or funds of another person for one's own use or other unauthorized purpose, particularly by a public official, a trustee of a trust, an executor or administrator of a dead person's estate or by any person with a responsibility to care for and protect another's assets (a fiduciary duty). It is a felony, a crime.
So as I feel that there seems to be a continuing “nothing-happened-here” mentality within the Board of Education. Let me try to tell you how I feel. When it comes to the public trust and working FOR your community, I have always believed that being honest and transparent was the only way to go. Don’t lie about what you are doing or not doing while in public office. We don’t have good memories – in fact, my grandfather would always tell me that in order to be a good liar you needed a good memory.
So we have no further comments from the President of the School Board about his and Mr. Quinn’s misappropriation. What about a comment from the Vice-President of the School Board Ms. Merchant? What about the other most senior member of the school Board Mrs. Polow? Does Noam Bramson have an opinion? No, none of them have said anything. They likely clench a fist or rather have lingering seizure-like moments at the thought of providing a comment or verbalizing an opinion on this issue. Why? Is the realization that perhaps a crime has occur worry you all? Is it because it has happened on your watch?
A misconduct has occurred. In my world, one is disciplined, warn, terminated etc. Silence is collusion. Silence is agreeing with the wrongdoer. Perhaps they think that saying something maybe considered a political act! Well not saying anything is also a political act.
I am involved in my community – always trying to empower the young people that they can be whomever they want. Motivating them to go to college as they struggle for a better life. I am at NRHS often enough and I work with many kids who are having difficulty getting into college. The message is always do the right thing, be honest, work hard, and respect your family and your elders. I never imagined that these kids had any idea about the spectacle of Mr. Quinn and Mr. Lacher misappropriating the public trust funds. They are aware of this. You are not helping our community in our efforts to help our kids. Do the right thing and resign Mr. Quinn and Mr. Lacher.