EducationThe Examiner

Byram Hills Budget, Proposition Approved By Lopsided Margin; Incumbents Win

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By Anna Carpinelli

Byram Hills School District overwhelmingly approved the district’s $103.4 million budget for 2024-25 and a proposition to transfer $8 million from its construction reserve fund for renovations.

In the Board of Education election, incumbents Scott Levy and Petrie Verma easily defeated challenger Diana Barrera in a race for two seats.

Voters approved the budget by a wide margin, 1,018-161. The 3.28 percent tax levy hike is at the ceiling for the district.

The second proposition, which considered the transfer of $8 million from the district’s reserve fund for renovations for the high school, also passed by a nearly identical count, 1,018-162. The renovations, separated into three phases over the next three years, will allow for a large-scale expansion of the high school’s library into a learning commons, conversion to artificial turf for the secondary athletic field and the installation of lights for the main field.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jen Lamia said the proposition has been long overdue and is a culmination of efforts by the board spanning decades.

“This proposition – to do the major renovations at the high school, the turf field and the lights – were paid for by money that we’ve already secured in a reserve fund, and not money we have to go out to bond for,” Lamia said. “We’re proud of prudent financing as a district, and also really excited for our students to see what’s to come.”

In the board election, Levy received 1,003 votes, followed by Petrie’s 816. Barrera received 362 votes. Levy will be serving his fourth three-year term and Verma his second.

Other Budgets Approved

Voters in three other districts, Mount Pleasant, Pleasantville and Bedford, also passed budgets by sizeable margins.

Mount Pleasant’s $79.7 million budget was easily approved by a nearly 3-1 margin, 425-160.

In Pleasantville, the public supported the district’s budget by 452-72.

Bedford School District voters also approved the district’s $155.8 million, 798-293.

All three districts had uncontested Board of Education races.

Martin Wilbur contributed to this article.

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