East Ramapo budget must pass: Editorial
District residents must make choices about how to provide for all children in the district. They can start charting that path on June 20. Support the budget, and begin crafting future spending plans today. Video by Nancy Cutler/lohud Wochit
This new spending plan is rational and reasonable. Sadly, it took a lot of missteps to get here.
It’s June. East Ramapo’s 2017-2018 budget remains unsettled. That’s a scary place for the deeply divided district, which has already seen two controversial spending plans upended this budget season alone.
The district has one more chance to win approval for its spending plan on June 20. East Ramapo voters must approve the $231.6 million spending plan. The alternative — an automatic contingency budget — would freeze the district’s tax levy, even as expenses rise, precipitating yet more cuts in the struggling district.
Andrew Mandel writes:
The Journal News has officially endorsed the revised East Ramapo budget
, calling it “rational, reasonable and worth everyone’s support.” With every other district in Rockland, Westchester and Putnam Counties having passed their school budget, it is time for us to avoid a contingency budget and do the same. Tell your networks to vote YES this coming Tuesday, June 20
Join us this Saturday for getting out the vote at 11 a.m. in front of the 7-Eleven on Kennedy Drive. See you then!
East Ramapo: Budget concerns raised ahead of new vote
A re-vote is scheduled for June 20.
Concerns are being raised that voters will reject East Ramapo’s revised budget during a special election next week, a defeat that would force $2 million worth of cuts to a public school district trying to mend itself.
During a public hearing on Tuesday, residents weighed in on the $231.6 million proposal, with a few saying they’re doubtful it’ll pass.
The proposed budget carries a 1.48 percent tax increase, which, officials said, translates into $120 annually for the average household.
Posted Jun 13, 2017, 11:06 pm; updated Jun 15, 2017, 6:50 am
East Ramapo school board holds meeting on new budget
The district’s budget will come with a tax hike of 1.48%
The East Ramapo School Board held a meeting on Tuesday to review the budget for the 2017/18 school year with the public, after the last budget was voted down.
The budget will come with a 1.48% tax hike, or roughly $120 more for the average homeowner. The previously proposed budget had a tax hike of 2.49%.
The budget also states that no funding will be given to private school students to be bused on days public schools are closed, which left some residents disappointed.
“There is no equity,” Rivkie Feiner, of Monsey said. “They talk about unified community. We are paying tremendous taxes and there was no good will shown.”
If the $232M budget doesn’t pass, there would be a $2M hole to fill. The state monitor appointed to oversee the district’s budget after it failed the first time says that a hole of that size would be detrimental.
Voters will make their final decision on the budget on June 20.
Andrew Mandel writes:
It’s ALL HANDS ON DECK to ensure that the revised budget — which focuses on educational improvements and stays within the tax-cap — passes on Tuesday.
While FIOS News
the Journal News are reporting
that some non-public school families don’t like the budget that their school board members approved, at this point everyone can feel good that their YES vote would be a step forward for the district; a NO vote would be devastating both for students and for community-building, resulting in over $2 million in cuts for children who are just starting to show signs of improvement.
We are meeting on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. at the 7-11 on Kennedy Drive to get out the vote. We hope you can join us. If you can’t, let me know if you are free in the evening on Tuesday to encourage voting then.
Andrew Mandel writes:
Today, the Commissioner approved — and the district board passed — a tax-cap-compliant budget that expands educational programming for the district’s students, including summer programming, arts, and teachers for students with special needs and English language learners. It does not include additional transportation for non-public schools on days when the public schools are closed, and board member Harry Grossman said he fears the budget would not pass without it. That would be a tragedy. If the budget fails on June 20, a contingency budget would result in cuts of over $2 million. Surely, no one wants to be responsible for that! I was glad to see all board members present tonight vote yes.
So, let’s get out the vote to show our support for this budget. Join our volunteers on Saturday, June 17 at 11 a.m. outside the 7-11 on Kennedy Drive for one big push of door-knocking! RSVP to let me know you’ll be with us so I know how many materials to bring.
East Ramapo preps for budget revote
During a meeting on Thursday night, Superintendent Deborah Wortham unveiled a preliminary budget that calls for a 1.49 percent tax levy increase. Information on how this would affect property tax bills was not available.
The $231.6 million spending plan does not bring back busing for private schools on district holidays — at least, not during the upcoming academic year. The defeated budget included up to 14 days of transportation.