From Gannett’s Albany Bureau this morning, 92 percent of school districts whose budgets were voted down last month were successful in getting them passed yesterday, when they held a second vote. Budgets were successful in 22 of 24 districts, including East Ramapo, according to the state School Boards Association.
East Ramapo was one of three districts did not change the percentage increase in the tax levy. It was 1.91 percent for East Ramapo, 2 percent for the Bolivar-Richburg school district in Allegany County and 2.5 percent for Oysterponds in Suffolk County.
East Ramapo and its teachers union just agreed on a contract that limits raises, requires new hires to contribute more toward health insurance and increases class sizes in middle school and high school.
From Albany reporter Joseph Spector:
The success was largely due to districts ending bids to override the state’s property-tax cap, which limited taxes increases to an average of less than 3 percent.
The vote was critical for the districts: If the budgets failed again, they would not have been able to increase taxes at all in the 2012-13 school year, which starts July 1.
“A failure yesterday would have meant a zero percent tax increase,” said David Albert, spokesman for the School Boards Association.
Three districts still sought a property-tax cap override, which required approval of more than 60 percent of voters. All three—Stillwater in Saratoga County, Elmont in Nassau County, and Highland in Ulster County—were successful. It was a close call for Highland; the 60 percent budget approval was achieved by just a nine-vote margin.
Budgets were rejected in the Cheektowaga-Sloan district in Erie County and the Oppenheim-Ephratah district in Fulton County.
Here’s the breakdown, courtesy of the School Boards Association: