WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – With education reform fresh on the mind following the passage of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s state budget last month, every schools budget was overwhelmingly approved on Tuesday by voters in Westchester and Putnam counties.
While voter turnout varied throughout county municipalities, every schools budget passed by hundreds of votes as residents elected to approve the spending plans put forth by their local Board of Education.
Despite the controversy over state testing and the contention over schools and students opting out of the assessments, Westchester and Putnam homeowners expressed their support for their local school districts with a strong showing at the polls.
In Eastchester, where the budget was approved by a 928-392 count, Willa Brody, the President of the Board of Education cited the difficulty of finding a balance in the budget that works for both the community and school district.
“Given the tax cap and cuts in state aid, each year we are challenged with balancing our budget and preserving the quality and educational integrity of our schools, while remaining sensitive to the needs of taxpayers,” she said .”We appreciate the community’s response and support of this year’s budget.”
Mount Vernon Superintendent Kenneth Hamilton – whose $230 million budget, featuring no tax levy increase for homeowners passed by nearly 1,000 votes – said that he is hopeful this is the beginning of a true team-up between the school district and the community.
“With the budget behind us, we must now make reality the promises we have made. We must achieve our goals and restore the faith of our parents and community in our schools,” he stated. “We will not accept mediocrity as we shoot for greatness. Our children deserve no less.”
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