South Orangetown Central School District


The South Orangetown Central School District 2024-25 school budget passed with nearly 75% of the vote on May 21. The 2024-25 budget totals $110,595,035 and reflects a 1.5% tax levy increase, which is within the maximum allowable tax levy.

In addition, voters approved Proposition 2 to establish and fund a new capital reserve fund and Proposition 3, which authorizes the use of existing capital reserve funds to remove and replace two boilers at Tappan Zee High School.

Dawn Kitz was elected to the Board of Education. Her three-year term begins July 1, 2024 and concludes June 30, 2027.

The unofficial* Board election results are as follows (candidates listed in order they appeared on the ballot):
Marissa Squitieri: 124
Dawn Kitz: 1065
Jenny Liz Sanchez: 1039

*Please note that the Rockland County Board of Elections certifies the results of school district votes and board elections.

Budget Q&A

Is the proposed tax levy increase within the cap?
Yes. In fact, for 2024-25, the District is proposing a tax levy increase of 1.5%, which is less than the maximum allowable levy increase. Fund balance will be used to cover the reduced revenue from taxpayers.

How does the proposed budget support students?
• Preserves high-quality academic programs, support services and staffing to meet the diverse needs of all students;
• Maintains enhanced security staffing at all four schools and includes safety and security camera upgrades and additions at all buildings;
• Maintains full-time teaching assistants for kindergarten;
• Provides seats for all students who wish to attend career and technical education programs;
• Sustains K-12 extracurricular and enrichment programming, including local field trips, Summer STEAM Camp; and,
• Maintains current transportation services, late buses (SOMS/TZHS), extracurricular and athletics busing.

What is driving the budget-to-budget increase?
The proposed budget is 1.63% higher than the current year budget, which included the transfer of $1.70 million to the Capital Reserve Fund to renovate the eight (8) WOS classrooms not originally included in the Capital Improvements Project. The difference in actual expenditures is approximately $3.48 million for which transportation, health insurance and contractual obligations continue to be key cost drivers.

What is the District doing to contain costs?
• Evaluating each position to determine whether or not it needs to be filled as staff members retire;
• Competitive bidding and cooperative purchasing;
• Participating in an energy purchasing service and Workers’ Compensation Consortium;
• Utilizing BOCES programs and services; and,
• Outsourcing services, such as food service, transportation and cleaning

What is Proposition 2?
Capital reserve funds are established with voter approval and must be used by a school district within a certain time period for capital work. School districts use these savings to reduce the tax impact of needed major capital projects on their communities and decrease interest and other costs for the bond issuance.

On May 21, 2024, SOCSD will ask voters to authorize the establishment of a new capital reserve fund for a term of ten (10) years to be funded from budget surpluses and other revenue up to $20 million.

What is Proposition 3?
Voters are being asked to authorize the use of existing capital reserve funds up to $1.70 million to pay for the removal and replacement of two (2) boilers at TZHS.

What happens if voters reject the budget?
If voters do not approve the proposed budget, the Board of Education may put forward the same or a revised budget for a second vote OR adopt a contingency budget with a tax levy no greater than what was levied in the current year. If voters reject the spending plan twice, SOCSD must adopt a contingency budget which would require the District to reduce the 2024-25 proposed budget by eliminating all minor capital projects and all equipment expenditures not related to safety. Community use of facilities would be restricted.

2024-25 Proposed Budget Resources
Budget Newsletter: English | Spanish
Budget Book

Board of Education Presentations/Workshops*
Thursday, November 30: Long Range Financial Planning and Budget (view slides)
Thursday, December 14: Preliminary Budget Workshop (view slides)
Thursday, January 25: Budget Development and Process Overview (view slides)
Thursday, March 7: Draft Budget Review, Budget Originator Summaries (view slides)
Thursday, March 21: Revised Budget Review (view slides)
Thursday, April 11: Budget Workshop
Thursday, April 18: Board of Education Adoption of the Proposed Budget (view slides)
Tuesday, May 14: Public Budget Hearing (view slides)

*All Board meetings/workshops scheduled for 7:30PM in the SOMS Library

Polling Locations

Find information regarding voter eligibility, early mail or absentee ballot applications here.

District #1: Blauvelt residents
South Orangetown Middle School
160 Van Wyck Road, Blauvelt
**Note: Please enter via the Erie Street parking lot.

District #2: Orangeburg residents
Tappan Zee High School
15 Dutch Hill Road, Orangeburg

District #3: Tappan residents
William O. Schaefer Elementary School
140 Lester Drive, Tappan
**Note: Please park in the rear lot (entrance on Washington Avenue); voters will enter directly into the cafeteria.

District #4: Grandview, Palisades, Piermont & Sparkill residents
Tappan Zee Education Center
(formerly Tappan Zee Elementary)
561 Route 9W, Piermont