Voters approve 99% of school budgets, including nearly 90% of overrides
Highest override rate since start of tax cap
FOR RELEASE: May 18, 2022
New York voters approved 99% of proposed school district budgets on Tuesday, May 17, according to preliminary results compiled by the New York State School Boards Association.
"This is a strong and welcome endorsement of the spending plans presented by local school boards this year," said NYSSBA Executive Director Robert Schneider. "State funding to help districts recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and a continued phase-in of the Foundation Aid formula were enormously helpful as schools cope with inflation and the ongoing consequences of the pandemic."
School budgets adopted for the 2022-23 school year fund a number of education priorities, such as academic intervention and enrichment programs to address "learning loss" attributed to the pandemic. Many districts are strengthening mental health services, restoring extracurricular activities, and adding counselors, social workers, librarians, attendance officers and teachers of art, music, and elective courses.
NYSSBA gathered results for 621 of the 675 districts statewide that hold budget votes. To date, voters approved 615 school district budgets, while six were defeated.
The average tax levy increase is projected to be 1.78%, and the average spending increase is estimated at 3.74%
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, 15 budgets passed and two failed, an 88% approval rate. That compares with an overall average of 67% of budgets requiring an override that were approved in the previous 10 years.
Where budgets were defeated, school districts may again put a budget before voters on June 21.
Also on Tuesday, voters selected candidates to fill school board seats in 675 districts. NYSSBA is still compiling results of those races.
"We expect to welcome a bumper crop of new board members this year with the retirement of many veteran members," said Schneider. "We look forward to providing training and support for these new members as they learn about the broad array of issues that school boards face each day."