© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

School Budget Votes Today

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Voters in towns and small cities in New York will be casting ballots Tuesday on their local school budgets.

Last week, the state Legislature passed a new budget that includes $420 million in extra education aid for the state's schools. The problem is that the school budgets voters will be deciding on today don't reflect that increase. And some of those budgets include hefty increases in property taxes.

Still, Thomas Hobart of New York State United Teachers says his organization is urging taxpayers to vote for their school budgets.

"The School Boards Association has said there are tax increases as high as 20 percent. That's certainly going to threaten the passage of school budgets," Hobart said. "On the other hand, if the budgets aren't passed, and we don't get the money, then we're going have to lay people off. Those people who are not there will not be able to help students achieve the new (academic) standards."

Some local school districts are trying to get the word out about how they'll use their extra state aid. Options range from reducing the size of any property tax increase to replenishing depleted reserve funds.

The fiscally-conservative group Change-NY claims most of the increased education aid rarely makes its way into the classroom.