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Area school budgets easily pass

May 23rd, 2012

The results are in and school budgets throughout the area passed with flying colors following community wide vote last Tuesday.

Valley Central School District’s $90,165,138 spending plan was approved with a final tally of 1,561 to 873. The figure is $2,276,100 – or 2.59 percent – higher than the current year’s budget and will require a tax levy increase of approximately 3.7 percent.

The budget vote also doubled as a school board election which produced victories for incumbents Sonia Lewis and Joy Crist.

In a statement that appeared on the school district’s web site last week, Valley Central Superintendent Dr. Richard Hooley thanked everyone who participated in the vote.

“The continuing community support for the efforts of all staff in the education of our students is greatly appreciated,” he said. “This is a wonderful community which demonstrates its enduring care and concern for its children and families by supporting our annual budget votes. Our only regret is that the budget’s success is tempered by the cuts and reductions that come with it.”

Over in the Wallkill Central School District, a total of 932 voters voted in favor of a $65,335,416 budget proposal while 423 voted against it. The spending plan represents a 1.72 percent increase over this year’s budget and will require a tax levy increase around 3.19 percent.

“We’re very grateful to our community for demonstrating how much they value education by continuing to show their support for our budgets each year,” said Wallkill’s Assistant Superintendent for Support Services Kevin Castle.

While he was excited about the outcome this year, Castle said he remains cautious about the future.

“Expenses are increasing at a greater rate than the revenue coming in, resulting in a budget gap” he explained. “Unfortunately when you have a budget gap you have to reduce expenses. Hopefully at some point the state will begin to fulfill their obligation and increase aid to schools.”

Also in Wallkill, incumbents Donna Crowley and Thomas Frisbie ran unopposed along with newcomer Mitchell DeCoeur to fill three vacant seats on Wallkill’s Board of Education.

The Pine Bush Central School District’s $101,265,553 budget was also approved by voters with a final tally of 1,401 to 781. The spending plan represents a $3,091,839 – or 3.15 percent – increase over the 2011-12 budget and would require and estimated tax warrant increase of 2.37 percent.

Newcomer Judith Pulver won a majority of the votes in the school board election and while it was originally reported that Eric Meier had beat out his fellow incumbent Roseanne Sullivan, it was later revealed that Sullivan had won the second vacant seat.

“I would like to thank the voters for their support,” said Pulver, a former Pine Bush teacher and administrator. “I am excited to work with the board and administration in continuing the high quality of education while maintaining fiscal responsibility.”

By Jessica McAleese

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