Today is June school budget vote day in New York State. All school districts, but the Big 5, in NYS vote on their school budget on the third Tuesday in May. This date is determined by state law. The current law gives districts whose budgets fail one month to retool and resubmit a budget for a vote. There is also the option to resubmit the same budget or to go directly to a zero percent tax levy increase. If a school budget fails in both May and June, the district goes to a budget that does not increase the tax levy from the previous year at all.
This year school budgets had an additional constraint, a new state law that limits the tax levy increase. The law is called a 2% tax cap but there is a complicated multi-step formula for determining how much or how little the tax levy can increase. Additionally, the law stated that any levy increase above the formulated limit required 60% approval of those voting. While a small percentage of the number of school districts in NYS, many districts had budgets voted down with over 50% of the voters voting yes.
24 NYS school districts are resubmitting their budgets, in some form, to their voters today. If these votes end up in a negative manner, these districts will have to cut some additional amount of money from their budgets. These cuts, in most cases, will mean layoffs for faculty and staff.
If you live in one of these 24 districts, vote today.