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Budget proposal adopted; increases services, stays under tax cap

On April 23, the Poughkeepsie City School District Board of Education unanimously adopted a proposed $138.7 million budget for the 2024-25 academic year that maintains staff and adds services offered to students and families.

The proposed $138,695,378 budget represents a 2-percent increase over this current year's budget and remained below the state-authorized tax levy limit with an increase of 3.25 percent.

The budget would support the continued growth of the district’s focus on advancing student achievement and positive youth development. Adequate levels of school-based administration, teachers, and staff are maintained to support the forward momentum of student achievement in the district. Additionally, the budget reflects investments in: 

  • Prekindergarten expansion
  • PreK- 12 literacy
  • High quality instructional materials
  • Arts and music education
  • Pathway transformation opportunities
  • Social and emotional learning
  • Teacher and leader professional learning and supports
  • Student and staff equity fixes

The proposed budget also uses approximately $3.6 million in fund balance (restricted and unrestricted). This is partially due to the 2024-25 New York State budget failing to fully restore $1.4 million in aid.

With great jubilation, Superintendent Dr. Eric Jay Rosser highlighted a few areas new to the budget, which include:

  • targeted professional development funding for every department;
  • dedicated material and supply funding for art and music teachers;
  • funding allocation for musical instruments and repairs;
  • dedicated funding for the home and careers class at Poughkeepsie Middle School,
  • funding to support theatrical productions at the elementary, middle and secondary levels;
  • funding for rising ninth graders to participate in the newly established BOCES P-Tech program;
  • funding for teacher innovation grants;
  • funding for community-based positive youth development contracts;
  • funding for My Brother’s Keeper programming
  • and funding for high-needs student supports, among other additions to the 24-25 budget. 

Rosser announced continued strategic investments in district-wide auditorium upgrades, Ampact tutoring, career technical education, Poughkeepsie High School dual enrollment courses, dual language programming at the elementary level, transportation and custodial services, and after-school activities are also represented in the budget.

Through weeks of refining the budget proposal drafts, district leaders trimmed roughly $1.5 million from the spending plan that was initially presented, reducing the tax levy increase from 4.75 percent to 3.25 percent.

“Even though this budget process has not been without challenge, given that there will be no increase in state aid for next year, I am still excited that the Poughkeepsie City School District can continue to allocate financial resources to support the academic, social and emotional programming that continues to yield great outcomes for our students,” Rosser said. "Being great stewards of our financial resources for the past several years, the loss of additional state aid and federal COVID relief funding will not result in the loss of student programming and staff members, as is not the case with many districts across New York."

The April 23 budget presentation  and the detailed budget document are each available online. The annual Budget Hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 7 at the Administration Building located at 18 S. Perry St.  A digital version of the 24-25 Budget Newsletter will be available on the district website next week and print copies will be mailed to every home before the community vote, which is set for May 21.