Community Approves 2023-24 School Budget and Propositions
Residents of the Brighton Central School District approved a $100,091,697 budget for the 2023-24 school year by a vote of 1,390 to 259. The budget received an 84% percent “yes” vote. It is the third highest passage rate in 50 years. The projected tax levy increase for 2023-24 is 1.75%.
Two propositions were also on the ballot.
The first proposal, approved 1,434 to 228, authorized the District to undertake a capital improvement in the amount of $19,500,000. This Proposition will not require the levy of new taxes. It does allow for the recommitment of current tax dollars available from the completed payment of current debt. Approval of this proposition will not increase the current budget or tax levy. The scope of the project includes redesign and security enhancement of the front vestibule, rehabilitation of exterior building structure and signage replacement, and interior hallway, ceiling, flooring and lighting replacement and rehabilitation at French Road Elementary School; renovations and rehabilitation of interior classroom space, elevator cab and mechanical replacement, and exterior door replacements at Twelve Corners Middle School; and renovations and rehabilitation of interior industrial technology and music classroom space, construction of a greenhouse, and purchase and installation of industrial technology equipment at Brighton High School.
The second proposal, approved 1,510 to 184, authorized the transfer of $800,000 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 other technology infrastructure in accordance with the purposes set forth in the authorizing resolution establishing this fund. Approval of this proposition will not increase the current budget or tax levy.
Voters also elected three board members to the Board of Education: Dr. Susan Gasparino, Carrielyn Bertino, and Larry Davis. Gasparino received 1,397 votes, Bertino received 1,223 votes, Davis received 1,156 votes, and Victoria Love received 781 votes.
“We are so fortunate to work with the children of a community that provides us with the resources we need and does so with such enthusiasm and positivity,” Superintendent Dr. Kevin McGowan said. “Our budget is both a spending plan and a numerical expression of our organizational values. Our community is supporting efficient plans that focus on meeting the needs of each student, maintaining our fiscal stability, and providing funding that allows us to continue innovating as we develop new program. We are grateful for the trust that the community places in the District.
“I am also very pleased to be able to congratulate our re-elected Board members, Dr. Susan Gasparino and Board President Larry Davis. Both have served the District with great compassion, thoughtfulness, and dedication. We’re so glad that they will be returning. They will be joined by the newest member of the team, Carrielyn Bertino. A Brighton grad, PTSA Building Chair, parent of Brighton students, and former teacher at French Road Elementary School, Carrielyn will no doubt be an incredible Board member. Carrielyn brings to the table an excellent sense of what is needed for children to be successful, a commitment to making that happen, and an ethic of care that will help shape her thinking in ways that are entirely focused on student needs and the educational environment.
“Finally, this election also marks the first time since she began her service in 2002 that Julene Gilbert was not on the ballot at the end of her term. We’re very excited for Julene to have the opportunity to spend more time with her grandchildren and to enjoy ‘retirement’ from this role, but we will miss her leadership tremendously. Julene has been a kind but strong voice of reason throughout her time on the Board. She has been the voice of those who needed a voice and a tireless advocate for the individual support of every child and family. Julene’s leadership led to the development of Brighton Your Wardrobe, Say Yes to the Dress, and countless other efforts to quietly support children and their families. We are where we are today for many reasons, not the least of which is Julene’s commitment to her community and her own alma mater, the Brighton Central School District.”