2016-2017 budget is educationally superior and fiscally responsible
TUXEDO, N.Y. (April 21, 2016) —The Tuxedo Union Free School District Board of Education unanimously adopted a proposed $13,497,279 budget for the 2016-2017 school year, a $669,864 reduction, or a 4.73 percent decrease, over the previous year’s budget on Wednesday night.
All programs, faculty and staff currently in place for this school year are maintained in the proposed budget.
“George F. Baker High School is not closing,” said Board of Education President Joanne Vernon. “While in the short-term it may be less expensive to send our high school students to a neighboring high school, variables such as the number of students, transportation costs and unknown tuition rates could have a catastrophic impact on the taxpayers in the long-term. The Board of Education does not support tuitioning our high school students to another high school or merging with any district. Some of the financial repercussions of merging with another district are as follows: Merging with Monroe-Woodbury, the taxes would increase by 83 percent (or $145.72/$1,000 of assessed value); merging with Ramapo Central, the taxes would increase by 126 percent (or $179.69/$1,000 assessed value). Currently the Town of Tuxedo is at $79.58/$1,000 of assessed value.”
The budget proposal has an estimated 1.06 percent increase in the tax levy and the total proposed taxes to be collected by the school district will be $11,450,415. The actual tax levy will be set in August when the town assessor provides certified assessment figures, state aid and equalization rates are confirmed. Due to the increase in the tax levy, a super majority, or 60 percent, is needed to pass this budget.
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Per New York State calculations, the Tuxedo property tax cap is -.33 percent which enables the district to collect $37,363 less in taxes than it did in the 2015-2016 school year.
“Careful planning, prudent judgment and consideration of various options guided Tuxedo’s administration and this Board in the development of this budget,” Vernon added. “This gives all our students the very best educational opportunities and we believe voters will feel similarly.”
The Board of Education held multiple workshops over the course of March and April. At those meetings, members of the public had opportunities to comment on the proposed budget and were provided copies of the budget presentation as well as line by line items. The district posted FAQs related to the budget workshops on its website shortly after the meetings were held.
“This budget is one that allows the district to maintain the highest quality of educational programs for our students,” said Interim Superintendent Nancy Teed. “The tax cap formula does not take into consideration the increasing costs that districts incur and the ultimate sacrifice is at the students’ expense. The district administration and the Board of Education have come up with a sound budget with a minimal impact being proposed to our taxpayers.”
Instructional costs are the largest portion of the proposed budget, at 51.08 percent, followed by retirement system, social security, health and workers compensation costs at 30.55 percent, general support services costs at 12.47 percent and transportation costs at 5.09 percent.
In addition to maintaining the existing academic programming, other budget proposal highlights include:
Maintaining school clubs: Drama; National and Junior National Honor Societies; Art; Model UN; Production Team; Odyssey of the Mind; Homework; Engineering; GGM and high school yearbooks; Problem Solving; GGM and high school student councils; and GGM basketball
Maintaining modified and varsity sports: soccer, basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball and varsity wrestling and cross country
Tuition, transportation and related services for special education out of district placements: 21 students
C-tech at Orange Ulster BOCES program available to 11th and 12th graders: – 8 students
$200,000 re-appropriated from paid off GGM addition to make necessary health and safety repairs per the New York State Facilities Building Condition Survey Report
A health insurance increase of 4.75 %
“This budget also includes a 10.93 percent increase in state aid over last year,” Teed said. “We are grateful to our elected officials for their work in helping to secure the funding for school districts throughout New York State.”
About the Tuxedo Union Free School District
The Tuxedo Union Free School District is a K-12 school district located at the southernmost tip of Orange County, near Sterling Forest and Harriman State Park. The George Grant Mason School is the district’s K-6 school and was named a 2015-2016 New York State Reward School, which recognizes schools that have made the most progress or have the highest achievement statewide with no significant gaps in student achievement. George F. Baker High School is
home to students in grades 7 to 12. The district’s mission is to engage students in the pursuit of knowledge for academic success, productive citizenship and the development of personal potential in a diverse and changing world, while offering opportunities for real life experience in a safe and secure learning environment meeting every student’s individual needs. For more information, visit: http://tuxedoufsd.org.