NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - With less than two weeks left for the Board of Education to approve the 2017-18 schools budget, Superintendent Brian Osborne has recommended a near $260 million spending plan for the upcoming academic year.
At the latest Board of Education meeting, Osborne recommended a $259,622,488 budget, marking a 2.32 percent ($5,866,165) increase from the current plan. The proposed budget represents a 1.995 percent tax levy increase, which is within the state tax cap legislation.
According to Assistant Superintendent Jeffrey White, the budget’s primary revenue source will be a school tax levy of $204,441,642, with $12,374,996 coming from other sources and the governor’s proposed state aid of $42,805,880.
The Board of Education now must choose to adopt the budget before Friday, April 21.
Osborne’s recommended budget maintains all existing programs, supports professional development for faculty and includes additional staff as enrollment is expected to increase in the district. The recommended budget also accounts for nearly $2.5 million for capital projects, including new playground equipment at Trinity, Webster and Columbus Elementary Schools. The fund will also be used for a roof replacement at the district-owned maintenance facility at Grove Avenue.
"It is critical to the structural integrity of our buildings to address building envelope issues such as roofs, masonry, windows and doors," White said. "Deferring maintenance of this roof, which is beyond its useful life, would lead to costly repairs in the future and could result in unsafe conditions.”
White noted that the district will also ask voters to approve the creation of a capital reserve fund, which will also be on the ballot. The designated fund would receive “fair share mitigation fees,” according to White, which are fees paid by developers who participate in government development projects.
“These fees, already negotiated by the city, would be used for capital improvements/expansions to enhance capacity, driven by enrollment needs. Setting up such a reserve fund would simply ensure transparency and that these monies would be restricted for their intended purpose. There is no cost associated with establishing the fund to taxpayers.”
The school district will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, April 19 to vote on Osborne’s recommended budget.