ALBANY, N.Y. June 20, 2007 — Voters in 20 additional school districts approved their budgets in a second vote, raising this year's overall budget passage rate to an all-time record of 98.24 percent, New York State United Teachers said today.
From Brentwood on Long Island to South Glens Falls in the foothills of the Adirondacks, voters gave approval to revised school budgets Tuesday after rejecting their district's proposed spending plans in the first round of voting May 15. In seven other districts, voters rejected their proposed budgets a second time, meaning those districts will be on contingency budgets for the 2007-08 school year. Five other school districts adopted contingency budgets and did not submit their budgets for a second vote.
NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi said, in total, voters in 668 of 680 school districts approved their school budgets this year, building on the record 95.3 per cent pass rate achieved on May 15.
"Parents and community members are acknowledging that public education is heading in the right direction. They are applauding rising test scores and other measures of real progress, while recognizing that school boards are being careful stewards of their tax dollars," Iannuzzi said. "This year's record passage rate is a sign that New Yorkers increasingly see public education as an investment in their children's future and the future of the communities in which they live."
Iannuzzi said the 12 districts on contingency budgets this year are believed to be the fewest since record-keeping began more than 30 years ago. "Unfortunately, children in these districts may be denied programs and opportunities that would help to achieve the tougher Regents' standards," Iannuzzi added.
Budgets winning approval Tuesday included Brentwood, Roosevelt and Wyandanch on Long Island; Dolgeville in the Mohawk Valley; Ithaca in the Southern Tier and Mamaroneck in Westchester County. The seven budgets defeated Tuesday were in Canisteo-Greenwood; Clinton; Corning; General Brown; Greenburgh; Westbury and York. They join Albany, Amsterdam, Georgetown-South Otsego, Greece and Highland Falls, which had previously adopted contingency budgets.
NYSUT represents more than 585,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.