NYSSBA: Voters approve 98.5% of school budgets
Budgets requiring overrides earned 76.5% passage rate
Submitted by the New York State School Boards Association
New York voters approved 98.5% of proposed school district budgets on Tuesday, May 16, according to preliminary results compiled by the New York State School Boards Association.
"As we so often see, voters in communities all across the state resoundingly gave school spending plans their seal of approval," NYSSBA Executive Director Robert Schneider said. "This is evidence of the great value community members see in the programs and services offered by their local schools."
School budgets proposed for 2023-24 benefited from state aid increases that came with the final step of phasing in the state’s foundation aid formula. This long-awaited full funding of foundation aid, along with federal pandemic recovery funds, will help school districts manage growing costs from inflation, increased needs for mental health services and staff, and double-digit increases in health insurance premium costs.
NYSSBA gathered results for 671 of the 675 districts statewide that hold budget votes. A total of 661 school district budgets were approved by voters, while 10 were defeated. Where budgets were defeated, school districts may again put a budget before voters on June 20.
The average tax levy increase is projected to be 2.17% and the average spending increase is estimated at 5.46%. Statewide, 17 districts sought approval to override their property tax caps this year, meaning their proposed budgets needed 60% "supermajority" approval to pass. Of those seeking an override, 13 budgets passed and four failed, a 76.5% approval rate. Since the tax cap was introduced in 2012, an average of 65% of budgets requiring an override were approved on the first try.
Also on Tuesday, voters selected candidates to fill school board seats in 675 districts. Many of the members returning to the board table will be familiar faces. Preliminary data indicates that 62% of winning candidates this year are incumbents and 38% are new candidates. Last year, incumbents represented about 58% of winning candidates. NYSSBA will provide a more in-depth analysis of school board elections within the next week.
"While nearly one-third of incumbents declined to seek re-election, those who did were largely successful," Schneider said. "For those new members joining school boards, NYSSBA will be here to help them transition into their new roles by supplying crucial information, advocacy and training."
The New York State School Boards Association represents more than 670 school boards and more than 5,200 school board members in New York. NYSSBA provides advocacy, training and information to school boards in support of their mission to govern the state's public schools.
NYSUT: Projections show voters pass 99% of school budgets; elect 85% of union-backed candidates in vote of confidence for public schools
Submitted by New York State United Teachers
New York voters delivered a strong vote of confidence in their public schools, with 99% of school district budgets projected to pass in Tuesday’s voting, according to preliminary results compiled by New York State United Teachers.
NYSUT’s initial analysis shows voters approved budgets in 534 school districts and defeated just nine. Thirteen of the 16 districts seeking to override the tax cap succeeded. Districts with defeated budgets can opt for a re-vote on June 20.
Local unions endorsed 360 candidates in board elections. Eighty five percent of these candidates were elected to local boards of education across the state, including 75 NYSUT members.
“New Yorkers again showed that they believe public schools unite our communities. Voters came out to support investing in our children and educators,” NYSUT President Melinda J. Person said. “They also supported school board candidates committed to bringing people together through strong and well-run public schools, not those who stoke division. When local voters prioritize supporting public schools, everybody wins.”
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with nearly 700,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.