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New Rochelle Voters Reject School Budget

New Rochelle residents defeated a proposed $272.8 million school budget on Tuesday, the only loss countywide.
New Rochelle residents defeated a proposed $272.8 million school budget on Tuesday, the only loss countywide. Photo Credit: File

Every Westchester school district, except one, passed proposed school budgets on Tuesday: New Rochelle's $272.8 million budget, which would have raised spending by 5 percent next year, was defeated by a vote of 3,119 to 1,689.The results remain unofficial pending the counting of all affidavit ballots.

The only other district to propose spending above the state-imposed tax cap -- Mamaroneck Union Free School District -- easily passed its proposed $138.9 million budget by a vote of 1,346 to 383.

New Rochelle's District administration and Board of Education said they will begin working together on budget revisions. The Board is expected to adopt a new budget on May 29 and there will be a public hearing at 7 p.m. on June 5 in New Rochelle High School. Voters will have an opportunity to approve the revised budget on June 19. If the second budget fails to get voter approval, the District would be subject to a contingency budget.

The rejected budget carried a tax levy increase of 3.89 percent, surpassing the 2.231 percent tax levy cap for New Rochelle.

“We knew a tax cap override would be difficult to achieve,” said Superintendent of Schools Brian Osborne. “The voters have spoken. We will take a hard look in developing a new spending plan for the June 19 re-vote.”

A second New Rochelle proposition on the ballot was approved by a 2,484 to 2,319 vote. It will set up a capital reserve fund that will not impact taxpayers. The reserve fund will be used for construction and renovation costs.

Voters in the Hendrick Hudson School District also approved an $18.5 million bond issue by a margin of 913-207.

“This result is validation that the district listened to the community and was committed to providing the information necessary for voters to make an informed decision,” said Superintendent Joseph Hochreiter. “Over the next four years, this project will help transform our facilities, so our students and staff are safer and our children can learn, play and perform using the type of facilities they deserve.”

Every other spending proposition proposed by Westchester school districts passed on Tuesday. A list of those ballot issues can be found in earlier Daily Voice coverage by clicking here.

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