Community Approves 2019-20 School Budget and Propositions (June)
Residents of the Brighton Central School District approved an $80,522,065 budget for the 2019-20 school year by a vote of 2,294 to 531. The budget received an 81 percent “yes” vote. The projected tax levy increase for 2018-19 is 2.34%. It’s the fifth-highest passage rate in the last 40-plus years.
“Thank you to the community for their support,” said Superintendent Dr. Kevin McGowan. “We appreciate the feedback we received throughout the entire process and attempted to develop a budget responsive to what the community expressed in the first vote. We believe that the community spoke, the District responded, and we’ll now continue moving ahead.”
Two propositions were also on the ballot. The first proposal, approved 2,371 to 430, authorized the withdrawal of $3,000,000 from the Capital Reserve Fund (General) to fund the construction of alterations, renovations and improvements to each of the District’s existing school buildings and facilities and reduce the debt obligation related to the Brighton Facilities Improvement Plan approved in May 2017.
The second proposition, approved 2,310 to 489, authorized the transfer of $500,000 from the Capital Reserve Fund (Technology) to the District’s General Operating Fund and to expend this sum from the District’s General Operating Fund for computer-related equipment and technology-related infrastructure.
2019-20 Budget Does Not Receive 60 Percent Approval (May)
The Brighton Central School District’s 2019-20 budget proposal did not receive the necessary 60 percent approval. The $81,857,906 budget received 1,617 yes votes and 1,335 no votes (54.78 percent yes). The budget required a 60 percent passage rate because it exceeded the property tax cap. Therefore, the budget and the two propositions did not pass.
Voters re-elected two board members to the Board of Education: Karen Hatch and Andrea Costanza. Hatch received 1,598 votes, Costanza received 1,597 votes, Heather Coyne received 1,031 votes, and Audrey Sowell received 956 votes.
“We appreciate the significant participation of the community and will now review the information provided to us by community members throughout the process and through our exit poll Thought Exchange,” said Superintendent Dr. Kevin McGowan. “Whether you voted or not, you communicated your priorities. We encourage every community member to participate in the exchange so that we can get the broadest perspective possible regarding how the community feels about future budget proposals.”
“Finally, the Board of Education and Leadership Team will now review our options for future proposals, a potential budget revote or the adoption of an austerity budget. As those plans are developed, we will communicate with the community and continue considering input. We are a community that thrives on consensus and constantly commits to supporting initiatives when the proposal makes sense to most people. Although a majority may have voted for the proposal, 55% isn’t enough based on the law and isn’t the type of consensus we are typically looking for. We are committed to understanding what you the community would like our next steps to be and developing plans based on that feedback.”