These are some highlights from the New York Council of School Superintendents’ analysis of property-tax report cards school districts filed with the state Education Department for next week’s budget votes:
— Proposed spending hikes are 1.7 percent, compared to 1.3 percent last year. They are below the inflation rate of 2.7 percent.
— The average tax increases are 2.2 percent, down from 3.4 percent a year ago.
— Fifty-one school districts — 7.6 percent — want an override of the new tax-levy limit. About half of those are recommending increases that are within 20 percent of the maximum allowed. More than 21 percent of districts — 143 — are proposing increases equal to the limit. Twenty-two districts are not recommending a change in levy and 10 want reductions in the levy.
— Statewide, there aren’t clear wealth-related patterns in the proposed spending and tax increases. That’s a change from some past years.
— This is the third consecutive year in which the average proposed increase is less than 2 percent. Pensions and health insurance likely comprise more than 2 percent, which means school districts have had to cut other spending.
Many school districts have used up much of their reserve funds and, after three straight years of reductions, they no longer have “easy” options, according to the Council of School Superintendents.