Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Champ presented the preliminary 2018-2019 budget proposal to the Board of Education at its meeting on February 27.
The preliminary budget will be reviewed by the Board throughout the spring, beginning with a line-by-line review on Saturday, March 10 at 9 am in the Middle School Library. The annual budget vote and school board elections will be held on Tuesday, May 15 when the polls will be open between 7 am – 9 pm in the PMHS gym.
Total appropriations in the preliminary budget are $73,482,000, which represents a 0.96 percent increase over the current year. The proposed tax levy increase is 2.42 percent, which is compliant with the New York State Tax Cap.
Included in the budget are funds to hire one additional Foreign Language Elementary School teacher, which will enable the District to proceed with the planned expansion of the program into 4th grade next year.
Additionally, the budget utilizes savings from several key retirements in the Pupil Personnel Services Department to create a new Secondary Supervisor of Special Education position. This position is proposed to help shift some of the administrative burden away from our school psychologists and provide them with more time and resources to meet the social-emotional needs of middle and high school students.
“Over the past several weeks, we have worked extremely hard to develop a budget proposal that complies with the tax cap, preserves and expands our academic program, and supports the core pillars of our Strategic Plan,” Dr. Champ said. “I look forward to working with the Board and the community to review this proposal and finalize a budget proposal that is responsible to our students and residents.”
Other key highlights in the budget include:
• Increasing dual-enrollment college credit course offerings at the high school, such as SUNY Criminal Justice, SUPA Academic Writing, and SUPA Presentational Speaking;
• Continuing professional development for integration of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme at Pelham Middle School and at Pelham Memorial High School in grades 9 and 10;
• Ensuring that class sizes across all grade levels are at or below Board of Education guidelines;
• Continuing implementation of mobile learning devices as well as exploring emerging technologies that support learning and teaching;
• Adding girls’ varsity golf and providing an additional coach for winter and spring track due to increased student participation;
• Investing in professional development of faculty related to STEAM, literacy, project-based assessments and learning standards.
“I’d like to thank Dr. Champ and the entire administrative team for their hard work in preparing the preliminary budget for next school year,” said Board of Education President Madeline Smith. “As is the case each and every year, the Board will take a hard look to ensure that the budget we put forth to the community on May 15 is one that moves our District forward in a strategic and responsible manner that aligns with our Strategic Plan and provides the best possible education for our students.”
The full preliminary budget is available for viewing at www.pelhamschools.org/budgets__finance.
The tentative budget meeting calendar is as follows:
• Saturday, March 10: BOE Line-by-Line Budget Review, 9 am in MS Library
• Tuesday, March 13: BOE Meeting, Budget Discussion, 8:15 pm in MS Library
• Tuesday, March 27: BOE Meeting, Budget Discussion, 8:15 pm in MS Library
• Tuesday, April 10: BOE Meeting, Budget Discussion, 8:15 pm in MS Library
• Monday, April 16: Voter Registration in District Clerk's Office, 10 am - 2 pm
• Tuesday, April 17: BOE Meeting, Budget Adoption, BOCES Budget Vote, 8:15 pm in MS Library
• Saturday, April 28: Voter Registration in District Clerk's Office, 10 am - 2 pm
• Tuesday, May 1: State-mandated public hearing on budget, 8:15 pm in MS Library
• Monday, May 7: Voter Registration in District Clerk's Office, 4 - 8 pm
• Tuesday, May 15: Budget Vote and School Board Election, Polls open 7 am - 9 pm in PMHS Gym