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Nyack School Board Adopts Proposed Budget

The budget will go to a public vote on May 21

The Nyack Board of Education voted unanimously at Tuesday night’s meeting to adopt the proposed 2013-2014 budget for the district, setting it up for a public vote on May 21.

The proposed budget of $75,511,424 is a 3.9 percent increase from budget to budget.

The budget adopted Tuesday night also calls for a 2.92 percent tax levy increase, which is 3.49 percent, or $358,565, under the state tax levy cap limit. The budget originally called for a larger tax levy increase, but the district received additional state aid, which was put toward lowering the tax levy increase. The previous tax levy increase was right at the limit, but the district received $358,565 in state funding, lowering the increase by that amount.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the one new item included in the budget discussed by Superintendent James Montesano was the inclusion of funds for a high school gymnastics team. Montesano said part of funding the team will be working with parents to possibly help offset costs, specifically in transportation.

“Our budget picture going forward does not look as bright as this current year does,” he said. “So just keep in mind it’s probably going to have to be reviewed on a year-to-year basis.”

The budget also contains the restructuring of the middle school, which will create seven instruction teams consisting of five teachers to teach groups of approximately 100 students. The teachers will be responsible for students in their team, which is intended to create an environment where the teachers get to know the students more and can better meet the needs of each individual student. The restructuring also increases the time spent in core classes from 42 to 53 minutes.

Other items in the restructure include some new features for students in eighth grade, including physical education every day, a menu of exploratory programs and more enrichment opportunities in science and math.

Voting will be open on May 21 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Because the proposed budget doesn't go over the tax levy cap, a majority of anything more than 50 percent is needed to pass the budget. If the board went over the cap, the budget would have required a 60 percent vote to pass.

If the public does not vote in favor of the budget, the district has two options. The board can put the same or a modified budget up for vote in June, or resolve to adopt a contingency budget. In the contingency budget, the tax levy can be no greater than the previous tax levy, which would most likely result in the district making extensive cuts. There will also be a budget hearing at the May 7 meeting.

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