VC’s $116m budget on ballot

By Kerry Butrick Dowling
Posted 5/10/22

Valley Central School District taxpayers will have their voices heard at the polls on Tuesday, May 17 during the 2022-2023 Budget Vote and Election. With a proposed budget totaling $116,600,000 up …

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VC’s $116m budget on ballot

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Valley Central School District taxpayers will have their voices heard at the polls on Tuesday, May 17 during the 2022-2023 Budget Vote and Election. With a proposed budget totaling $116,600,000 up for approval, district officials say the budget maintains programming for students while staying under the tax cap by maximizing state aid. The proposed tax levy is under the Allowable Tax Levy Limit at 1.76%.

School district officials are pleased to report that the 2022-2023 budget also aligns with the strategic goals of the district including being rated in the Top 5 schools in Orange County and providing per-pupil spending at a low rate compared to other districts by being the third lowest in the county.

“This is a fiscally responsible budget. It is under the tax cap, maintains and adds programs, and uses fund balance to reduce borrowing costs and improve the facilities,” said Valley Central School District’s School Business Official Brad Conklin.

Under the proposed 2022-2023 budget, the district aims to maintain all programs and extra-curricular activities. In addition, the plan includes increasing elective and enrichment opportunities while also establishing internship opportunities in the community for students. The development of multiple pathways after graduation is also an item the new budget will address.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Marianne Serratore said the budget is critical for Valley Central students as it will allow the district to maintain and expand upon its academic programs and extracurricular and social-emotional initiatives across all grade levels.

“Our elementary schools will continue to provide outstanding literacy and mathematics programs, Science 21, and an extensive STEAM program. VC’s youngest learners are engaged in coding, robotics, engineering, and problem-solving. Middle school students will continue to engage in high-interest electives such as music technology, sports, civics, and various art and ELA offering. At the high school, we have partnered with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters to offer two carpentry courses. In addition, we have added an aviation course. We have partnered with Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Teachers to encourage and train students in the area of education. We have added two education electives to add to our wealth of offerings in the humanities. We have added ten BOCES CTE spots which will allow more students to pursue options such as culinary arts, cosmetology, welding, auto mechanics, animal science, health careers, and much more. Our work-based learning program is undergoing an expansion and in collaboration with local businesses, we intend to offer more internship opportunities,” said Serratore.

In addition, the social and emotional needs of Valley Central students are a critical and vital component in the success of all students academically. The proposed budget offers programming to meet the needs of all students district officials explained.

“Addressing the social and emotional needs of our students is critical. This budget allows us to continue our work with Yale RULER, and ADAC, and to offer programs to support our students that are struggling. Our goal is to provide multiple pathways so that students will have a variety of choices, whether it be college or a career directly out of high school,” shared Serratore.

In addition to academic advancements, there are numerous upgrades and repairs for facilities going on across the district under the proposed budget. The proposal also includes two capital outlay projects: replacing the stadium scoreboard and replacing the main entrance and door systems at the central administration building. The proposed new entrance includes a vestibule, new front door, and window glass.

“Both projects are necessary for the upkeep of the facilities. The stadium scoreboard is past its useful life and requires replacement. A modern replacement will accommodate the multiple sports played at the stadium. The main entrance door at the administration building is original to the building with noticeable deterioration,” explained Conklin.

If the budget is not passed, the Board is able to place the budget before the voters a second time in June or elect to adopt a contingency budget.

The Valley Central School District 2022-2023 budget vote will be held on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at the Valley Central High School Gymnasium from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m.

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