School programs on the line today

Full-day kindergarten, high school electives, sports and extracurricular activities are on the line in 24 districts across the state today as they try once more to get budgets passed.

In Hornell, only sports are on the line. That district got voters to pass their school budget, but they rejected paying for athletics with the 60 percent supermajority needed. (There may be more districts that are doing something like this, but Hornell was all I found so far.)

It’s important to note that 10 of the 24 districts did pass their budgets with simple majorities on May 15, but failed to meet the 60 percent needed under the tax cap law. Those 10 districts were Comsewogue, Elmont, Floral Park-Bellerose, Mt. Sinai and Three Village on Long Island; Elmira and Unadilla Valley in the Southern Tier; Highland and New Paltz in the Hudson Valley; and Stillwater in the Capital District.

I haven’t heard from everyone, but most of the 24 districts cut their spending proposals, or in at least one case, actually found additional revenues so as to reduce the tax levy.

Elmont, Highland and Stillwater, are still trying to override their tax cap.

Whether trying for a super, or a simple, majority, if districts fail to pass budgets, they are required to adopt a contingency budget with a zero percent tax-levy increase.

Anway, fingers crossed for these 24 districts (with links to either district budget info or to local news coverage):
Bolivar-Richburg in Allegany County, Elmira in Chemung, Unadilla Valley in Chenango, Plattsburgh in ClintonGermantown in Columbia, Cheektowaga-Sloan in Erie, Oppenheim-Ephratah in Fulton, Fonda-Fultonville in Montgomery, Elmont and Floral Park-Bellerose in Nassau, Niagara-Wheatfield in Niagara, East Ramapo in Rockland, Stillwater in Saratoga, Cobleskill-Richmondville in Schoharie, Center Moriches, Comsewogue, East Islip, Mt. Sinai, Oysterponds, Three Village and Tuckahoe in SuffolkHighland and New Paltz in Ulster, Wyoming in Wyoming and the athletics budget in Hornell in Steuben.

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