EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – After months of debate and deliberation, the Tuckahoe Board of Education approved a $32 million budget that will be put to public vote next week.
Superintendent Barbara Nuzzi’s $32,010,535 spending plan was unanimously approved by the Board of Education last month, representing a 1.09 percent budget-to-budget increase and a tax levy increase of 1.68 percent, under the state mandated cap.
If the public does not approve the budget at the Tuesday, May 19 vote, it will be put to a secondary vote in June, and if it again fails, a contingency spending plan would have to be put in place, including more than $450,000 in additional cuts, likely to sports, clubs and other organizations that set the Tuckahoe School District apart from its neighbors.
“Our district’s strategic plan that was developed by the community and implemented by district administrators is on target and on schedule,” the Board of Education said in a joint statement. “The positive changes and the subsequent positive impact on our academic program and therefore, our children, could not have been possible without your input and without your support of last year’s budget.”
“This year, we are asking the community to consider supporting the proposed budget in order to stay focused on our strategic plan. We will continue to apply our budgeting method where our strategic plan guides the development of the budget, rather than the other way around. “
The updated budget includes the elimination of three staff members that took a retirement incentive to allow for a cheaper replacement, and additional usages of the district fund balance to avoid any further cutting of programs for students.
According to district officials, “the fund balance is the ‘savings’ accumulated by the difference between revenues and expenditures over time. It changes annually based on the results from each year’s operations. It may increase or decrease, depending on many variables.”
Additionally, the budget can support as many as five full-time teachers, an athletic trainer and a facilities consultant. Additionally, various classroom spaces will be re-appropriated to maximize their viability.
Tuckahoe residents will have the opportunity to vote on the budget Tuesday, May 19. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Tuckahoe Community Center, Cottle Elementary and the Union Corners Fire House.
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