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New Rochelle Residents To Vote On $106M Schools Bond Referendum Next Week

The New Rochelle Board of Education has recommended a $106 million bond referendum for immediate infrastructure improvements districtwide.
The New Rochelle Board of Education has recommended a $106 million bond referendum for immediate infrastructure improvements districtwide. Video Credit: Zak Failla
New Rochelle Superintendent of Schools Brian Osborne, New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and High School Principal Reggie Richardson touring school grounds. Photo Credit: Zak Failla

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - Schools officials in New Rochelle are encouraging city residents to approve a $106 million bond referendum that will allow for districtwide infrastructure improvements.

Last month, board members unanimously approved a “historic” $106,479,575 capital bond project proposal that would include sweeping, district-wide infrastructure upgrades that would “greatly influence the teaching and learning environment for every student, teacher and staff member in New Rochelle’s school community.”

According to the Board, because the district is paying off significant debt in the next few years, there will be a minimal impact on New Rochelle taxpayers. Additionally, the district is set to receive nearly $50 million in building aid from the State Education Department.

Members of the PTA organizations at each school has expressed unbridled, public support for the bond referendum.

“We hope the solidarity shown in the endorsements by the PTAs at all schools reinforces to voters the importance of passing this bond,” said Roland Rogers, PTA Council president. “We encourage voters to understand the positive impact this bond will have for our children’s education. They should be, and deserve to be, educated in buildings that support their good health and safety.”

In a letter to parents, Superintendent Brian Osborne expressed how important the referendum may prove for the district.

“New Rochelle is an accomplished school district, with outstanding student achievement, supported by dedicated administrators, teachers and parents,” he said. “Our school buildings should reflect the pride we have in our district, but currently, they are failing.”

The Board decided to present the bond proposal publicly following a district-wide review of each school building by the Districtwide Health and Safety Commitee, which then in turn collaborated with 10 school-based health and safety committees that put together a "Building Condition Survey." Once completed, the surveys showed that all 10 school buildings are rated “unsatisfactory.” Once potential work is completed, all buildings will earn a “satisfactory” rating.”

“Our teachers, staff and students are accomplishing so many outstanding academic achievements in our classrooms,” Osborne continued. “Our graduation rates continue to increase and we have one of the lowest per-pupil costs in Westchester County.

“We owe it to our children to provide a learning environment that meets our high education standards and achievements.”

The $106 million bond referendum and $253 million schools budget vote will be held from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17. Residents with questions on voter registration can call (914) 576-4219.

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