PELHAM, N.Y. -- Pelham voters will decide on a $69.4 million education budget next month after the Pelham Board of Education adopted a proposed spending plan Tuesday with minor changes.
The proposed $69,492,200 budget for the 2014-2015 academic year calls for a tax levy increase of 1.93 percent, which is in compliance with the state tax cap legislation. It is lowest tax levy in 14 years, according to the district.
The budget-to-budget change is less than 1 percent, and the lowest percentage increase in 23 years, according to the district.
The budget will be up for public vote on May 20.
According to Peter Giarrizzo, superintendent of schools, the "hallmarks," of the budget include maintaining what the district considers to be ideal class sizes, retaining all general and special education programs and all extracurricular and athletic programs. Therefore, the budget meets all goals made by the Board of Education at the start of the school year, he said.
Giarrizzo said changes from the preliminary budget include an additional $700,000 of state aid, the anticipation of less refunds of BOCES miscellaneous receipts and an increase in the professional development staff.
Additionally, the retirement of a teacher, a settlement with the administrators' union, along with the identification of additional technology needs played a role in amending the budget.
"We're also adding additional counseling support for students, a new math program and new technology initiatives," Giarrizzo said.
The additional counseling support will provide a full week of counseling to students, where they previously received two days.
The board was enthusiastic and supportive of the budget, thanking Giarrizzo for his leadership on his first preliminary budget as superintendent and the subsequent amendment process.
The public budget and Board of Education election votes will be held May 20 in the Pelham Memorial High School gym.
Watch the full Board of Education meeting here.