EASTCHESTER, N.Y. -- Tuckahoe Superintendent of Schools Barbara Nuzzi on Monday, April 7, laid out the district’s proposed $31.5 million schools budget, representing a 1.43 percent tax levy increase, which is under the allowable state cap.
Like districts and municipalities throughout Westchester County, Tuckahoe continues to be handcuffed by unfunded mandates. This year, teacher retirement contributions increased nearly 8 percent, while health insurance premiums have risen 4.75 percent from last year.
The district has been buoyed by several state aid incentive programs, which saved more than $300,000. Seven hundred Chromebook devices will be purchased for everyday use through a state bond -- at no cost to the district -- while a full-time position will not be filled after staff members were given the opportunity to take early retirement incentive packages.
Additionally, a middle school teacher will be moved to the elementary school and the district -- which has the lowest student-to-guidance counselor ratio in the county -- will eliminate its social worker position, with three middle and high school guidance counselors assuming the responsibilities.
The district would also save $36,000 on out-of-district transportation costs by purchasing two vans and hiring a pair of hourly drivers to transport three students to two set destinations. School officials believe that this would also allow for more flexibility when scheduling field trips and athletics, with a proposed five-year savings of more than $100,000.
The proposed budget marks a 2.3 percent increase over last year’s $30.1 million budget, due in large part to mandates, which account for about 20 percent of the entire budget. The proposed 1.43 percent tax levy increase is the lowest in five years and is markedly lower than last year’s 3.08 percent increase.
You can see the complete proposed budget here. The Board of Education is expected to adopt a budget at its Tuesday, April 22, meeting, and there will be a public hearing on May 12 in advance of the May 20 public schools budget vote.