NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The New Rochelle Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously adopted a $270,381,160 school budget for 2018-19 that stays within the state tax cap, preserves programming and includes funds to add school counselors and several other positions as well as safety and security measures.
The tax levy increase - the amount of money to be raised by property taxes - is 2.231 percent, which is the same amount as the cap allows. To stay within that limit, the City School District of New Rochelle administration proposed a series of measures cutting $3.4 million from the tax levy included in the $272.8 million budget voters rejected May 15. The tax levy in the new budget is $209,002,162, an increase of $4,560,520 over the levy of $204,441,642 in the 2017-18 budget.
The Board approved the revised plan in its meeting in the New Rochelle High School library.
"The Board has adopted a budget that addresses the priorities the community made clear to us," said Board President Rachel Relkin. "This plan serves our students and our community well while remaining sensitive to the New Rochelle taxpayers."
"By looking anew at all our expenses, we were able to produce a budget that advances the District's core strategic goals and avoids any unnecessary cuts that would impact on our students or programs," said Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne. "By allocating resources responsibly, the budget also protects the fiscal health that we have worked so hard to improve in recent years."
The newly adopted budget carries an estimated tax rate of $785.72 per $1,000 of assessed value. That's an increase of $18.95 per $1,000, or 2.47 percent. The current rate is $766.77 per $1,000. Under the adopted budget, the tax bill for a home assessed at $16,000, the city average, would be $12,571.52, an increase of $303.20. Such a home has an estimated market value of $695,000.
Here are the changes from the initial budget:
- $736,867: Eliminated by foregoing the planned addition of three psychologists and three social workers.
- $642,219: Eliminated by foregoing the inclusion of several contingent positions placed in the budget for unexpected needs.
- $200,000: A reduction from the initial $400,000 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.)
- $598,778: 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.
- $975,684: Appropriation from the employee retirement system reserve fund.
The plan includes funds for four additional counselors at New Rochelle High School, the equivalent of 2.1 added English-as-a-New-Language teachers, three new special education teachers, plus an added special education teaching assistant and education aide.
The budget will be put to a public hearing at 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 5, in the New Rochelle High School library, and the public will vote on it June 19.
Learn more about the budget on the District's website, www.nred.org.