2017-18 Budget: Frequently Asked Questions

What’s in the proposed 2017-18 budget (Proposition #1) for students?

The proposed budget provides for the continued innovation and improvement of the district’s academic programs and pupil services, to include:

How much will my taxes increase?

The “average homeowner”--defined as having a home with a market value of approximately $400,000, and approximate assessed value of $200,000--can expect an increase of about $127 per year.

What is a capital reserve fund?

A capital reserve fund allows school districts to set aside funds to cover the cost of major construction projects and purchases in the future. SOCSD’s capital reserve fund was created and funded with voter approval in 2006, and modified in 2009 and 2014.

What is Proposition #2?

SOCSD is asking voters to approve a five-year extension of its existing capital reserve fund to 2026 and authorize funding from budget surpluses, if any, up to $15 million over this period. The extension of the capital reserve fund will allow for the accumulation of funds to be used toward future capital projects and help reduce the need for debt.

Will Proposition #2 raise taxes?

No. Proposition #2 is just an authorization for future funding of the existing capital reserve fund, which is approaching maximum funding previously authorized.

What is Proposition #3?

Voters are being asked to authorize the use of existing capital reserve funds not to exceed $9.8 million to pay for the following capital improvements:

These proposed capital projects will be funded through existing capital reserve funds at no additional cost to taxpayers. 

What happens if voters reject the budget?

If voters do not approve the proposed budget, the Board of Education may put forward the same or a revised budget for a second vote OR adopt a contingency budget with a tax levy no greater than what was levied last year. If voters reject the spending plan twice, SOCSD must adopt a contingency budget which would require $1.3 million in cuts.

When is the budget hearing?

The Board of Education budget hearing will be held on Thursday, May 4 at 7:30pm. Community members may ask questions regarding the budget and additional propositions at this meeting.

When is the vote?

The school budget vote and Board of Education elections are Tuesday, May 16. Polls will be open 7am-9pm.

Where do I vote?

For absentee ballot information and polling place locations, go to the district’s Voter Information page.

Have another budget-related question? Email budget@socsd.org.

MORE FAQS

Why does the district want to install a modular structure to serve as a library at Cottage Lane Elementary School?

Proposition #3 asks voters to authorize the use of existing capital reserve funds for several capital projects, including the installation of a modular structure to serve as a library at Cottage Lane Elementary School.

Here's the background on why this is needed:

When Tappan Zee Elementary School was closed, the library at Cottage Lane was converted into classroom space to accommodate the increased number of students. As a result, the school currently has a small book room, but not a real library. The space is too small for an entire class to visit at once for research or instruction.

There are long-term plans for the construction of an addition to Cottage Lane to include a library and other instructional spaces; however, that construction--and securing funding for that project--is several years away.

In the meantime, we hope to install a double wide (28' x 66') modular structure at Cottage Lane to accommodate a full class all at one time, books and technology, a restroom and three smaller rooms for small group instruction. The modular building will be attached by a breezeway so the children will not need to go outside to access the facility.