Letter from Board of Education President
Dear Elwood Residents:
Thank you to all who participated in the 2016-17 budget vote and trustee election. Although we achieved a significant majority of yes votes, we did not reach the high bar of a 60 percent supermajority that is required to pierce the tax cap. Short by approximately 31 votes, the budget was defeated by only 41.6 percent of voters.
At the Thursday, May 19 Board of Education Meeting, we will discuss the District’s course of action moving forward. The Board will provide guidance to the administration as to its vision for the next steps, amongst the options at the Board’s discretion are:
• A revote of the original budget
• A reduced budget that exceeds our tax cap
• A reduced budget within our tax cap limitations, which equates to a negative 0.212 percent budget to budget
• Move to austerity with a 0.00 percent tax levy and a negative 0.69 percent budget to budget
Should the Board determine that the administration make changes to the proposed budget those changes will be presented and voted upon by the Board at a special meeting, which we anticipate will take place the week of May 23. Please keep in mind, should the same or revised budget be proposed, that vote will take place on Tuesday, June 21 at the Elwood Middle School from 2pm-10pm. Should that budget vote fail the District’s only option would be to move to the aforementioned austerity budget.
As the community is aware, Elwood has been identified by the New York State Comptroller's office as a district in “moderate fiscal stress.” The Board of Education, administration and community have worked diligently to propose a budget that would begin the pathway to end deficit spending and restore its reserve funds. Until our State legislators create an aid formula that rewards districts such as Elwood for complying with the Governor's wish to act efficiently and without bloated reserves, Elwood will continue to feel the pressure of fiscal challenges.
Please visit the website for updates on scheduled meetings and budget information.
Thank you for your continued support.
Andrew L. Kaplan
Board of Education, President