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School and Library Budgets OKd by New Rochelle Voters

The votes were overwhelming in favor of the budgets.

New Rochelle voters handily approved both the school and library budgets for 2012-13 Tuesday.

The unofficial tally was 1770 for the school budget and 734 against the budget.

The newly approved budget is $234,174,978, up 1.43 percent over last year's adopted budget of $230,872,398.

Paul Costiglio, district spokesman, said the school board thanked the community for coming out in support of the budget.

"We are immensely pleased that we were able to pass a budget that meets the new tax cap requirements set by the state while at the same time maintaining our educational program," he said. "This budget allows us to continue offering the quality educational experience and opportunities that students deserve and New Rochelle has come to expect."

The amount of taxes the school district will have to raise in order to pay for the spending—the tax levy—is $185,766,917, which is a 2.13 percent increase over the 2011-12 tax levy of $181,889,144.

For more, see this article.

The budget was approved as well—1767 to 644. The $4,468,996 proposed spending package for 2012-13 is down 0.11 percent—or $4,728—from the 2011-12 budget. More information on the library budget can be found here.

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Both the board of education and library board of trustees had two open seats on the ballot. Incumbents Chrisanne Petrone and David Lacher ran unopposed for the school board, as did incumbents Haina Just-Michael and Bernardo Nunez for the library board.

Marilyn Zengotita of New Rochelle always votes in the school district elections. She has children in the high school, as do her friends.

"I definitely want the budget to pass," she said, adding that there have been too many cuts and schools are getting too crowded.

Bill Welker of New Rochelle has seen two of his children graduate from New Rochelle school and has yet another in high school.

He, too, wanted to make sure the budget passed.

Welker has no advice to give to make it easier to fund public school.

But one thing is certain to him: "We can't keep cutting programs," he said. "Arts and music is where they always start. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: The article has been modified from its original version by the addition of comments from the school district.

Billy L May 16, 2012 at 05:55 PM
How come the article did not quote anyone who was against the budget passing? The tax rate will now increase by 4.11%. I am so glad that so many of my other neighbors in New Rochelle are well off enough to afford this increase which will amount of hundreds of dollars more next year. I cannot afford it but thanks to you people I am now stuck paying it. Our school district can and should make do with less but we did not give them the chance.
Michael Woyton May 16, 2012 at 06:56 PM
@ArTDecoPlayLand: If anyone who had agreed to speak with me had said they were against the budget, their comments would have been included.
Billy May 16, 2012 at 09:31 PM
ArtDeco- since the district uses as of yet undetermined assessment #, you better hope it only goes up by 4.11%. If assessments drop by more than what the district estimates, the tax rate will go up more and if assessments actually were to go up, the number would go down. New Rochelle's the only district that I know of to use this antiquated system. It gives them an excuse & cover for their blunders. A far fairer system would be to use the previous years assessment total, 1 that's fixed, then you could be assured that your taxes are increasing 4.11%. If you research it, you'll find most taxing districts only use fixed numbers.

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