School budget and board election results

Voters in the Shenendehowa Central School District approved a $169 million budget Tuesday night.

Later in the meeting, the school board also approved the 2017-18 school calendar, which does have some noted changes from the current 2016-17 calendar, including a shorter Christmas break but two additional vacation days in the second semester, a more balanced total of school days between semesters, and one more day of overall classroom time. So, in addition to exceeding the tax cap, the budget also cuts 10 teaching positions, increases class size, and cuts core and elective programs.

Voters also elected Sharon P. Poling (396 votes), John Lott (394) and incumbent Paula Brown-Weinstock (313) to fill three open board seats. Heather Welch received 694 votes; Alan Barone drew 67.

The budget also funds a "mobile crisis response team" that will be staffed by a psychiatric nurse practitioner and two clinical social workers and respond to students in urgent need of mental health support - students potentially on the verge of harming themselves. The school board winners were Glenn Nealis and Marrk Schneider, with 207 and 293 votes.

The Library Budget significantly exceeds the tax cap.

"In the past, sometimes when they've been late, we get it at the start of the next school year", Hansen said.

If adopted by the school board, the budget will maintain a tax rate of 39.2522 mills.

The Ripley Central School District proposed a 2017-18 budget of $9,154,039-a 12.31 percent increase from 2007-08. Those are the institutions that are turning out future community members, hosting cultural and sports events, offering continuing education for adults.

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In Northville Public Library news, the budget passed with 244 yes votes over 132 nays.

Dr. Michael Hynes, superintendent of the Patchogue-Medford School District on Long Island, says this is a real opportunity for residents to decide how their school tax dollars will be spent as the budget affects staffing, purchases, and capital improvements.

"I am certainly not happy with the 1.89 percent tax increase", Pfender said.

The budget vote and Board of Education election took place on Tuesday.

The district's estimated annual debt service for the new capital project is $1.62 million per school year, beginning in 2019-20. The plan will come with a 1.25 percent tax levy increase.

Those schools will also receive renovations and updates to classrooms and other educational spaces.

The resolution directs the school district to ensure officials are not collecting information about the legal status of students or their families, that they keep schools safe for students and families, and that a memo the district sent to school leaders in February gets translated and made available to all families and all staff. The first is dealing with the financial shortage from the construction bond that will leave schools unfinished and the second is to establish more financial accountability in the district.

Board President Timothy O'Brien, Vice President Mark Bonjavanni and board members Jeanne DePompo, Laurence Gurman, MaryRose Malley, Cristy Mangano, James Moretti and Miller voted to adopt the budget.

  • Darren Santiago