Wednesday, May 29th

School Budget and Bond Approved by Scarsdale Voters

BudgetVoteThough there appeared to be little controversy about the vote on the 2023-24 Scarsdale School Budget and $4.75 million bond for the renovation of the high school auditorium, until the count was in, no one could be sure of the outcome.

When the polls closed at Scarsdale Middle School at 9 pm on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, the mood in the gym was optimistic. The school budget increase was under the tax cap, and the bond proposition would only cost the average taxpayer $27.00 per year. The two board members up for re-election, Board President Amber Yusuf and Bob Klein, were running unopposed. Though an anonymous email objecting to the bond for the auditorium was circulated, it did not appear to carry much weight.

Board members, district administrators, and community volunteers awaited the count, which was supervised by former Board of Education member Scott Silberfein.

After a slight delay due to a broken voting machine, the results came in and were overwhelmingly positive.

The budget passed with 555 yes votes to 91 no votes, an 86% approval rate.

The bond received 536 yes votes to 108 no votes, an 83% approval rate.

Board candidate Amber Yusuf was re-elected with 571 votes and Bob Klein with 559 votes. There were 40 write-in votes.AmberandBobAmber Yusuf and Bob Klein were re-elected to the Board of Education

It was a promising start for School Superintendent Drew Patrick, who took the helm at the beginning of the school year, and a nice finale for Assistant Superintendent Stuart Mattey, who will retire in June.

Commenting on the vote, School Superintendent Patrick said, "We are once again grateful for the community support of our students through adoption of the budget,” said Dr. Drew Patrick, Superintendent. “From expanded access to mental health supports, expansion of our exemplary Reveal Math curriculum, and a joint schools/Village athletic field study, this budget will help us to continue providing the exceptional educational experiences that are a hallmark of the Scarsdale Schools.”

Here are the historical figures on the approval rates for budgets and bond votes:

Vote2023

Though the bond referendum has passed, it will be some time before students will enjoy the new auditorium. The district will need to have the project approved by the New York State Department of Education, which can be a lengthy process. Mattey expects construction to begin in June 2024, with completion by January 2025.

After some tense and controversial times for the Scarsdale Schools, the vote demonstrated solid support for district leadership and the Board of Education, especially when compared to historical approval rates for budget votes and bond referendums. The decision to fund the auditorium with a separate bond offering rather than to fund it in the budget and exceed the state tax cap was a difficult one. However, the discussions were deftly managed by Board President Amber Yusuf, who helped the Board to reach a consensus with little rancor or discord. The board was diligent in their item-by-item analysis of budget line items, and the unified support of the community is a reflection of confidence in their efforts.

Laura GelblumLaura and Ehud Gelblum. Laura is President of the FMA | Friends of Music & the Arts parent booster group and championed the passage of the bond.EricEric Rauschenbach and Colleen BrownLeahRon Schulhof and Leah Dembitzer

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