Proposed school budget to stay under the state tax cap

Central Valley. The general fund is currently set at $223,614,319; a public hearing will be held May 8.

| 19 Apr 2024 | 04:01

The Monroe-Woodbury Central School District presented its proposed budget for the 2024 to 2025 fiscal year at a special Board of Education meeting held on April 18.

The district recommends a total general fund budget of $223,614,319, with a proposed tax levy of about $131 million or an increase of just under 2%. Forty percent of the proposed budget is supported by state aid and 59% by the community.

M-W Superintendent Elsie Rodriguez highlighted some of the investments the district has made and will continue to make in the areas of school safety, student programming, and professional development. In the area of school security, she noted the presence of school safety officers in every school, as well as the use of new digital radios for communications. Rodriguez commented that school programming is focused on the evolving needs of students and how to prepare them for opportunities beyond the classroom. Professional development includes teacher training in reading and other programs.

Rodriguez noted Monroe-Woodbury’s offerings and accolades, including its variety of extracurricular activities, nationally recognized music programming and college-level courses. She also mentioned the district being honored this year with a National Merit Scholarship winner as well as four National Merit Scholar-commended students.

The Monroe-Woodbury Central School District supports 9,200 students, including a percentage of students who do not attend classes in the district buildings but still receive services and support from the district. As the superintendent explained, these include special education students who are assigned to schools outside of the district for services, as well as students who attend out-of-district schools and are entitled to transportation, textbooks, and other services.

Rodriguez emphasized Monroe-Woodbury’s commitment to provide an effective budget that meets the needs of the educational community.

“Every year we look to refine the budget process and our presentation to the school board and community. It is important to our school community to have a clear understanding of our goals and how the budget is going to support the district in attaining those goals,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez explained that if voters don’t approve the proposed budget (with two chances to do so), the district must operate on a so-called “contingent” budget. This means such items as new school buses and building improvements would not be permitted.

Monroe-Woodbury will hold a public hearing for the school district budget on May 8. Voting for the budget will be held on May 21 along with Board of Education elections. If the budget does not pass, a state-wide budget re-vote for all districts that did not pass their budgets the first time will be held on June 18.