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Budget set for May 18 vote

Budget Proposal

Poughkeepsie City School District will ask voters to approve a $108,190,818 budget and elect two board members for three-year terms May 18.

Board of Education members unanimously approved the budget during a special meeting Wednesday. The budget represents a tax levy increase of just 1.4 percent, well below the 3.48 percent tax cap.

Some of the budget highlights include:

  • Restoration of four assistant principal positions to elementary schools
  • Addition of two custodial positions
  • Addition of a bilingual communications position shared with the City of Poughkeepsie
  • Paying off the district’s $1.5 million obligation for the BOCES capital project without borrowing
  • Eliminating the need to subsidize revenues with $1 million of fund balance

The budget does not include federal stimulus money related to COVID-19 as that money must be accounted for separately in a Special Aid Fund, Interim Chief Operations Officer William Hogan explained. Some of the actions taken will help the district budget in future years.

Initially, we proposed paying off two BOCES loans this year. However, in order to keep the tax cap stable, it was determined that it would be better to pay one this year and the other next year. The move also saves the district money as it won’t have to pay to borrow funds.
“We are being very proactive from a management standpoint,” Hogan said. “We are proposing actions

Right now that will help ease the pressure on the budget when the federal stimulus falls off – it is only a

Three-year funding stream,” Hogan said. “This is a good budget with a minimal tax increase.”

Board members sought clarity on some of the new proposed positions.

The assistant principals will help ensure the integrity of our educational programs and supports in the schools while also making sure there is adequate staff to address parents and students.

As for the custodial positions, in years past, the district made cuts to the CSEA ranks. We recognize the need to bring the unit back up to where it needs to be to adequately address the needs of our school buildings.

Finally, the communications position is designed specifically to make sure that the information we have in the district gets into our Spanish-speaking communities.

With this budget, we are positioning the Poughkeepsie City School District to be successful when it comes to the use of its financial resources for years to come, not just for this upcoming year.