It’s bittersweet to read or watch the variety of press accounts about yesterday’s school budget revotes across the state.
The good news is that voters in most of those districts (22 of 24) approved their budgets. Of those, the three districts that again sought to override that irresponsible tax cap all passed. Here’s one link that combines the efforts of Elmont in Nassau County, Stillwater schools in Saratoga County and the Highland schools in Ulster County. Also, the Hornell schools approved a proposition to save various sports and afterschool clubs by a 1095 to 622 vote. That 63.7 percent approval rate was needed because Hornell is over its tax cap.
The bad news is that the budgets in all of these districts contain many cuts, both in programs and support for students. In Elmira, 120 jobs are cut and significant program reductions will happen. In East Ramapo, full-day kindergaren becomes half-day and 90 jobs are cut.
The worse news is that two districts, Oppenheim-Ephratah and Cheektowaga-Sloan, had their budgets fail. That means those districts can have no increase in the tax levy. It doesn’t matter what happens to food prices, gasoline or heating or electricity prices, or insurance costs, or anything else that the district does not totally control. They must slash to get to stay at 0.
In addition to the links above, here’s links to reports on additional districts.
New Paltz, which failed by 18 votes to get the 60 percent supermajority on May 15, passed but at the cost of pre-kindergarten, music programs, monitors, an intervention specialist among other cuts.
In addition to Elmont, the eight other districts on Long Island all passed their budgets. Those are Floral Park-Bellerose in Nassau County. In Suffolk County, Center Moriches, Comsewogue, East Islip, Mount Sinai, Oysterponds, Three Village and Tuckahoe.
Cobleskill-Richmondville passed. Here’s a link with nice footage of a rally held there in advance of the vote.