EducationThe Examiner

Chappaqua School Voters Overwhelmingly Approve $140.7M Budget in Revote

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A reduction of more than $1 million in spending made a world of difference for the Chappaqua School District.

Voters overwhelmingly approved the district’s tax cap-compliant $140.7 million budget for 2024-25 by just over a 4-1 margin (1,234-281) in Tuesday’s revote four weeks after the first spending plan that exceeded the cap by $1.4 million was resoundingly rejected.

In the weeks following the first vote, school officials eliminated the proposed three additional school resource officers (SRO) to save about $600,000 and two staff developers to cut another $250,000. A variety of small cuts plus using nearly $300,000 additional from fund balance reduced the levy to the allowable 1.81 percent maximum increase.

“I’m really grateful that the community supported our budget,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Christine Ackerman said shortly after Tuesday evening’s vote totals were announced.

Approval of next year’s spending plan helps the district avoid a contingency budget, which would have forced a cut of about $3.5 million. A contingency budget is required under state law if the public rejects a district’s budget twice.

Many residents had been upset that the district had exceeded the cap while others disagreed with the addition of three school resource officers, which would have dedicated an officer every day in each of the district’s six schools. The three existing officers – a full-time SRO at the high school, another shared between the two middle schools and a third split among the elementary schools – will continue next year.

New Castle residents will have their taxes increase 2.22 percent in 2024-25, while the district’s Mount Pleasant residents will see a 3.42 percent reduction.

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