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New Rochelle Officials Drafting New Schools Budget After First Fails

The New Rochelle High School. Photo Credit: File
Board President Rachel Relkin (right) swearing in new board member Christopher Daniello last week. Photo Credit: New Rochelle Schools

After the proposed $272.8 million schools budget was overwhelmingly rejected by voters last week, New Rochelle officials are going back to the drawing board to draft a more community-friendly budget.

Last week, voters rejected the district’s initial proposed budget with 3,116 votes against and 1,689 in favor of the proposed $272,804,093 spending plan.

As a result, the administration and Board of Education are drafting a new budget, which they will consider adopting for a potential vote at its May 29 hearing. There will also be a public hearing on the proposal on June 5 at New Rochelle High School.

Following the hearing, the budget will be put to a vote on June 19. If the second budget is rejected, the district will be subjected to a contingency budget. The rejected budget carried a tax levy increase of 3.89 percent, surpassing the 2.231 percent tax levy cap for New Rochelle.

"We knew a tax cap override would be difficult to achieve," said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Osborne. "The voters have spoken and the administration is listening. We are taking a hard look at the ways by which we can develop a new spending plan that better alleviate the concerns of the District's voters for the June 19 re-vote."

"We acknowledge that the vote was a resounding rejection of the Board's budget," Relkin said. "To that end, we would like to affirm our collective commitment to creating a revised budget together. We will work collaboratively to ensure that a new budget is developed that strikes the right balance for our community."

Officials noted that a second proposition on the ballot was approved by a 2,481 to 2,319 vote, which will set up a capital reserve fund that will not impact taxpayers. The fund will be established to receive the district's portion of the City of New Rochelle's Fair Share Mitigation Fund, which is comprised of mandatory contributions from developers under the city's zoning plan for the Downtown Overlay Zone and any other legally available funds of the school district. The reserve fund will be used for construction and renovation costs.

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