Following the statewide school budget votes in May, which by and large saw outstanding successes with 99% of budgets passed, 85% of pro-education, pro-student, endorsed candidates winning and 75 NYSUT members elected or re-elected to school boards, ten districts still had to face voters again after their budgets were defeated.
When the ballots were finished being counted on June 20, six of the ten districts had secured community support to pass their budgets. Three will now be forced to go to contingency budgets, while one had elected to go to a contingency budget earlier in the month.
In Blind Brook-Rye district in Westchester County elected to exceed the state-mandated tax cap for its budget. Despite having a majority of voters approve the budget the first time around, it did not reach the needed 60% of voters to pass. The second time around, however, it passed overwhelmingly with 72% of voters in favor of the budget.
In the West Hempstead district on Long Island, for the second year in a row voters rejected the district’s initial budget proposal in May. A concerted effort by the West Hempstead Educational Association, its members and the district changed that outcome in June. Despite putting forward the same budget, and despite another 300 people turning out to vote “No” than did the first time, the coalition got over 850 new voters to come out and vote “Yes,” passing the budget with 54% of the vote.