Scarsdale Board of Education Urges All Residents to Vote on Tuesday
- Thursday, 11 May 2023 10:51
- Last Updated: Thursday, 11 May 2023 12:42
- Published: Thursday, 11 May 2023 10:51
- Joanne Wallenstein
- Hits: 606
Dear Scarsdale School Community:
The Scarsdale Board of Education is pleased to present the proposed budget for the 2023-24 school year, as well as a bond proposition for the renovation of the High School Auditorium. The vote for the 2023-24 budget and High School auditorium bond proposition will be on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at Scarsdale Middle School from 7 AM - 9 PM. Parking is available throughout the day at the lower circle, reached from the school driveway on Kelwynne Road.
The proposed budget and bond are the culmination of a thoughtful and collaborative process, led by the Board and Administration. Deliberations and decisions by the Board were guided by a focus on students, the District’s Strategic Plan, and with thoughtful input from the school community, including school principals, teachers, students, parents, and community groups.
Budget Process and Community Engagement:
The Board’s budget process began with a public listening session in November for the community to share their budget priorities. The feedback from this session helped inform the Administration as they prepared an initial budget proposal. Multiple presentations and Budget Study Sessions afforded opportunities to take a deep dive into each aspect of the District. Members of the Board also attended information sessions hosted by community groups and have responded to numerous questions from the community. The Board voted to approve the budget in April, and have attended meetings at each school to discuss it and answer questions.
This year’s budget process was notable in that multiple budget scenarios were presented by the Administration, including various funding options for the High School Auditorium. This process allowed the Board to have extensive, thoughtful and transparent discussion about numerous item expenses, and how best to fund the High School auditorium renovation.
Budget Priorities and Highlights:
The proposed budget preserves our tradition of excellence in teaching and learning, while adding thoughtful enhancements to address today’s unique challenges and supports the values and goals of our school community. The Board continued prioritization of social and emotional learning support, this year at the elementary level, after adding mental health staffing at the High School and Middle School the past two years. Additional resources for our High School guidance counselors will help our students navigate the changing landscape of college admissions. Our Safety, Security, and Emergency Management (SSEM) plan is further strengthened throughout the District. Energy sustainability initiatives are expected to provide significant cost savings. The proposed budget also allows for the purchase of new accounting software. Analytical studies and community surveys around Wellbeing, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (WIDE), district bus transportation, and athletic fields (in partnership with the Village), will guide our future work in these areas.
The projected tax levy increase is 1.93%, which is below the state tax cap.
Bond Scope and Funding:
The Board is also pleased to present a $4.75MM bond that would fund a major renovation and restoration of the Scarsdale High School Auditorium. With the last substantial renovation in the 1980’s, this bond would make long overdue, significant capital improvements including enhanced acoustics and lighting, new audience seating, dressing room reconfigurations, improved accessibility, and other updates that will greatly improve the student and community experience. The auditorium is a space utilized every day by our high school students and is a central space for the entire school community. The Board believes that funding this capital project through a bond is appropriate given the significant scope of work and best aligns the taxpayer impact with the expected life of this renovation.
The expected cost per average assessed home in Scarsdale for the bond is less than $28 per year.
Whichever way you vote, participation is an important way to show your involvement in our schools.
SCARSDALE BOARD OF EDUCATION
Amber Yusuf, President
Ron Schulhof, Vice-President
Suzie Hahn Pascutti