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New Rochelle Voters Approve $270M Schools Budget On Second Shot

New Rochelle High School
New Rochelle High School Photo Credit: File

Sometimes, the second time’s the charm.

After rejecting a $272.8 million schools budget, voters came back on Tuesday to approve a revised $270,381,160 spending plan that will have a limited impact for taxpayers by a vote of 1,757 to 1,004.

The cap on the increase in the tax levy – the amount of money to be raised by property taxes – was 2.231 percent. The budget kept the increase to that level by cutting $3.4 million from the tax levy that was included in the budget that voters rejected in May. The tax levy in the now-approved budget is $209,002,162. That is an increase of $4,560,520 over the levy of $204,441,642 in the 2017-2018 budget.

Changes from the initial budget include the elimination of the planned addition of three psychologists and three social workers. The Board also eliminated the inclusion of several contingent positions placed in the budget for unexpected needs.

“This budget will serve the district well,” New Rochelle Schools Superintendent Brian Osborne said in a statement. “By allocating resources responsibly, the budget preserves our programs, provides for necessary additions and also protects the fiscal health that we have worked so hard to improve in recent years.”

Officials said that “the newly adopted budget carries an estimated tax rate of $785.72 per $1,000 of assessed value. That’s an increase of $21 per $1,000, or 2.75 percent. The current rate is $764.72 per $1,000. The tax bill for a home assessed at $16,000, the city average, will be an estimated $12,571.52, an increase of $335.95. Such a home has an estimated market value of $695,000.”

"It has been an intense year for New Rochelle parents, children, and educators — beginning, of course, with the heartbreaking loss of a student in January, and then shaped by sometimes contentious debates about school programming, personnel, financing, and security. Given this backdrop, I will admit to receiving news of the budget’s passage with relief more than pleasure," New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson stated.

"But even as we continue wrestling with important questions, let’s not lose sight of something fundamental: New Rochelle’s public schools are an extraordinary asset, providing outstanding educational opportunities and experiences to youngsters of every interest, circumstance, and tradition."

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