At its April 19 meeting, the Board of Education adopted the 2022-23 school budget, which totals $101,554,865 and reflects a 3.41% budget-to-budget increase and a 2.77% tax levy increase. The proposed 2022-2023 budget preserves comprehensive, high-quality educational programs and services for our students while remaining within the state-mandated tax cap. “The proposed budget reflects our community’s shared commitment to our children’s future and maintains a tight focus on fiscal responsibility,” said Superintendent of Schools Robert Pritchard, Ed.D.
Key considerations for 2022-23 budget development:
- Preservation of programs and personnel to ensure that all students meet or exceed annual targets for academic performance and college- and/or career-readiness;
- Services and supports to effectively address spiking academic, mental health and basic student needs, such as food and clothing, resulting from the pandemic and longer-term demographic changes in our community;
- Capacity to accommodate projected steady growth for the next decade;
- Compliance with New York State Education Department mandates;
- Mounting inflation as the school district continues to navigate pandemic and economic challenges, such as sharp increases in health insurance and retirement benefit costs; and,
- Financial impact on South Orangetown taxpayers.
The Board of Education will host its public budget hearing on Thursday, May 5 at 7:30PM in the South Orangetown Middle School Library. Community members may ask questions regarding the budget at this meeting.
In addition to the budget vote, there will be a proposition on the ballot requesting voter support to extend the District’s Capital Reserve Fund by 10 years (through 2036) and increase the ultimate amount of the Fund by $10,000,000 to offset future capital projects. This proposition would allow the District to replenish savings which will be depleted as $18,000,000 in existing capital reserves are used to partially fund the voter-approved 2022 Capital Improvement Bond project.
The ballot will also include an election for two Board of Education seats. The candidates names, in the order they will appear on the ballot, are:
Seat 1: Daniel Lamadrid (incumbent) and Steven Finn
Seat 2: Dave Sansone and Cara Stepanian (incumbent)
The South Orangetown PTAs and Tappan Zee High School Youth & Government Club will co-host a Meet the Board Candidates Forum on Wednesday, May 4, from 7:30 until 9:00PM, in the South Orangetown Middle School Auditorium. Please refer to the SOCES PTA, SOMS PTA and TZHS PTSA Facebook pages for information.
The South Orangetown Central School District’s annual school budget vote and Board of Education elections will be held on Tuesday, May 17, 7:00AM-9:00PM.