Annual School District Vote
South Orangetown Central School District voters passed the 2020-2021 school budget with 71% of the vote in the annual budget vote which culminated on June 16. The approved budget totals $96,839,306, reflects a 2.2% budget-to-budget increase and remains within the tax cap with a 2.82% tax levy increase. In all, 3,811 ballots were received for this year’s vote, compared with 1,598 in 2019 and 1,381 in 2018.
“I am ever grateful for the continued support of our community, which is especially important during these challenging times,” said Superintendent of Schools Robert R. Pritchard, Ed.D. “The benefit to our students is immeasurable and our community’s strong commitment to high-quality, public education for all students gives us all hope for a brighter future.”
Incumbents Leon Jacobs and Christine Lee were re-elected to the Board of Education. Their three-year terms begin July 1, 2020 and conclude June 30, 2023.
The Annual District Meeting of the Board of Education of the South Orangetown Central School District will convene at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 17, at which time it is anticipated the Board of Education will move immediately into Executive Session to discuss matters pertaining to the employment history of particular individuals and Collective Bargaining. The public meeting will reconvene at 7:30 p.m. This meeting will be a virtual-audio only meeting due to the mandated closure. The public meeting will be live streamed to the SOCSD Events YouTube channel starting at 7:30 p.m. The trustees will participate remotely, but the public may not attend at any of remote locations. (Public comment will not be permitted.)
The Annual School District Vote ended at 5:00PM on June 16, 2020. During the current mandated school district closure and need for social isolation, personal voter registration may not take place in school districts. Registration may, however, continue through the Rockland County Board of Elections by mail, or more expeditiously, online voter registration through the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles website: https://dmv.ny.gov/more-info/electronic-voter-registration-application.
An election will be held for two Board of Education seats. The candidates are Leon Jacobs (incumbent) and Christine Lee (incumbent). The full three-year term for each seat is July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2023.
In accordance with Executive Order No. 202.26, the budget vote and school board election will be held remotely, by absentee ballot only. Per Executive Order No 202.39:
- Hand-delivered ballots may be received via dropbox until 5PM on Tuesday, June 9. No hand-delivered ballots may be received after this time.
- Mailed ballots must be received in the District Clerk’s office by 5pm on Tuesday, June 16.
The District dropbox is located outside the South Orangetown Middle School main entrance, at 160 Van Wyck Road in Blauvelt. The dropbox hours are as follows:
- Thursday, June 4: 8:00AM-5:00PM
- Friday, June 5: 8:00AM-5:00PM
- Saturday, June 6: 12:00-4:00PM
- Monday, June 8: 8:00AM-7:00PM
- Tuesday, June 9: 8:00AM-5:00PM
We appreciate our community’s patience and understanding as our District navigates these continued challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we will continue to communicate updates should further clarification become available.
If you have not yet received your ballot, please contact District Clerk Kathy Muscari at (845) 680-1012 or [email protected].
To complete your absentee ballot:
- Mark “X” or “√” in the appropriate box (yes or no) for Proposition 1 – 2020-2021 School Budget.
- Mark “X” or “√” next to candidate of your choice in box provided at left of candidate’s name or you may write in a name.
- Use black or blue pen or pencil with black lead. Fold ballot in Oath envelope provided and seal envelope.
- Date and signature of the voter must appear on the reverse side of the sealed Oath envelope.
- Place the Oath envelope in the larger postage prepaid envelope addressed to the South Orangetown Central School District and seal it.
- Return by mail or deposit in the secure dropbox at South Orangetown Middle School, 160 Van Wyck Road in Blauvelt during the hours listed above.
All absentee ballots, whether they are returned by mail or dropbox, must be received by 5:00PM on Tuesday, June 9.
Questions regarding the budget vote, including absentee ballots, should be directed to District Clerk Kathy Muscari via email ([email protected]) or phone (845) 680-1012.
NOTICE OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE SOUTH ORANGETOWN CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
Date of Annual Meeting: June 9, 2020
Date of Public Hearing on the Budget: June 1, 2020
In accordance with Executive Order No. 202.26, the Budget Vote and School Board Election will be held remotely, by Absentee Ballot only. Qualified voters of this School District will receive absentee ballots by mail.
To be a qualified voter you must be a US Citizen, at least 18 years old by June 9, 2020, a School District resident for 30 days immediately preceding the vote, and registered to vote in School District elections and having voted in any School District election/vote during the past 4 calendar years. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, there will be no personal voter registration held at school district offices prior to the June 9, 2020 vote.
If you are not registered, you can register with the County Board of Elections by mail or remotely through the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles website at: https://dmv.ny.gov/more-info/electronic-voter-registration-application
In accordance with Executive Order 202.26-Rescheduled Annual Meeting, the Budget Vote and School Board Election will be held remotely by Absentee Ballot only. Qualified voters* of this School District will be mailed an Absentee Ballot with a postage paid return envelope to return their ballots by June 9, 2020.
*To be a qualified voter you must be a US Citizen, at least 18 years old by June 9, 2020, a School District resident for 30 days immediately preceding the vote, and registered to vote in School District elections and having voted in any School District election/vote during the past 4 calendar years.
On May 7, the Board of Education adopted the District’s Proposed 2020-21 Budget, which totals $96,839,306, represents a 2.2% budget-to-budget increase and stays within the cap with a tax levy increase of 2.82%.
“Our financial plan continues to be focused on the district’s strategic commitment to academic success, high-quality instruction, an engaged school community in which all students have access to supports and opportunities, and the systematic approach to continuous improvement and efficient use of our resources. However, this has been a much different financial planning year, unlike any other year,” said Koster. Read the “3 Questions” interview with Koster for more detail.
The public may submit questions related to the budget to [email protected].
2020-21 Budget Resources
2020-21 Proposed Budget Newsletter
Summer 2020 Capital Projects
2020-21 Line-By-Line Proposed Budget
2020-21 School Budget FAQ
School Property Tax FAQ
“3 Questions: Executive Director of Finance & Management Services Alicia Koster” web story (5/1/20)
Proposed 2020-21 Budget presentation & Summary of Appropriations (4/30/20)
“District Presents Preliminary Budget” web story (4/24/20)
Preliminary 2020-21 Budget presentation (4/23/20)