The Rye City School District adopted its 2017-2018 school budget at the Board of Education’s April 18 meeting. The adopted budget will now be voted on by the public on May 16.
While managing to stay under the state-mandated tax cap, the school district adopted a budget that calls for $86.9 million in spending. The budget includes a 2.19 percent increase—approximately $1.8 million—in spending over the current year’s budget, and increases the tax levy by an estimated 2.64 percent.
The reserve fund will only be reduced by 1 percentage point with its use in the upcoming budget. The reserve fund currently stands at approximately $12.1 million, which constitutes 14 percent of the 2016-2017 budget. The budget will help the school district remain qualified for an AAA bond rating, which typically calls for a school district’s reserves to hover around 10 percent of its annual budget.
11.4 new positions
The adopted budget preserves all current schools programs and adds 11.4 positions across the district. Among those positions, two are for the English as a New Language program, and another is for a psychologist to accommodate regular and special needs students. Two more academic-based positions have been added for art, music physical education and FLES Spanish programs. Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Monahan told the Review last month that these positions would help the district deal with the growing rate of student enrollment.
The projected student enrollment for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year is 3,467. Student enrollment has increased steadily since the 2007-2008 school year in which 2,996 students were enrolled in the district. Monahan said that while school administration officials are often worried about the growing enrollment rate, the district will be better prepared come September if any sudden increase occurs, considering the added positions in the new budget.
Since the school budget is proposed under the tax cap, it will only require a simple majority of approval by voters on May 16. According to Sarah Derman, the school district’s public information officer, there aren’t any differences in the adopted budget from the budget that was first proposed by Monahan back on Feb 28.