NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The New Rochelle Board of Education will consider a new 2018-2019 budget on Tuesday that stays within the state tax cap while preserving educational programs and allowing for additional student social-emotional support and safety measures.
With input and direction from the Board of Education, the Superintendent’s proposed budget removes $3.4 million from the tax levy that was included in the $272.8 million spending plan rejected by voters on May 15. The reduction was needed to produce a budget with a tax levy increase that stays at or below the state cap of 2.231 percent for New Rochelle.
“This budget protects the District’s core strategic priorities and avoids any unnecessary cuts that would directly impact students,” Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne said. “It also allows the District to stay within the tax cap and maintain the fiscal health that we have worked so hard to improve.”
The measures total $3,398,617 in savings, reductions and additional revenue. They are:
$716,837: Foregoing the planned addition of three psychologists and three social workers.
$642,291: Foregoing the inclusion of several contingent positions placed in the budget for unexpected needs.
$220,000: A reduction from the initial $420,000 set aside to implement safety and security recommendations from the Task Force on Reducing Violence in the Lives of Children and Youth and from Guidepost Solutions. (The proposed budget allocates $200,000 for the recommendations.)
$589,778: Savings from a retirement incentive offered earlier this year that were not known when the initial budget was presented.
$245,069: Savings in technology purchasing by eliminating redundancy and products that are under-used.
$984,642: Appropriation from the employee retirement system reserve fund.
The new plan retains the addition of four high school counselors, one in each house, to address the need for social and emotional development. It would also retain the addition of 2.1 full-time equivalent (FTE) English as a New Language teachers divided among Albert Leonard Middle School, Isaac E. Young Middle School and William B. Ward Elementary School; three special education teachers (one each at the high school and each of the middle schools); and a teaching assistant and education aide, both in special education, also for the high school.
The Board of Education will adopt a final proposed plan Tuesday at its 7 p.m. meeting in the library of New Rochelle High School, 265 Clove Road. A public hearing on the budget will be held June 5, also at 7 p.m. in the high school library. The plan will be put to a public vote on June 19.
If voters reject the second budget, the District must adopt a contingency budget, which restricts the tax levy to the same size as this year’s – $204,441,642. To reach that level, the District would need to cut about $4.5 million more – or nearly $8 million from the initial proposed budget. The District would need to consider measures such as forgoing capital expenses for security infrastructure and cafeteria improvements, eliminating non-mandated transportation, reducing athletics and extracurricular activities, cutting staff positions, increasing class sizes and diminishing elective class offerings.
Find the proposed budget here.