EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – Eastchester residents came out in a force on Tuesday to support and approve the school district’s $77.4 million budget.
More than 1,500 voters came out, overwhelmingly approving the budget 1090-489. Willa Brody Hughes, Vito Catania and Robert Summer, running unopposed, were elected to the Board of Education.
Superintendent of Schools Walter Moran III expressed his gratitude to Eastchester voters Tuesday night.
“I want to express my deep appreciation to the Eastchester community for the passage of the budget,” he said. “In these difficult economic times, the community’s continuing support for our education programs and initiatives is truly gratifying.”
The district continues to be affected by escalating unfunded mandates, which include retirement, insurance and other benefits.
According to Moran, the district will spend an additional $400,000 each on teacher retirement and health insurance costs. Meanwhile, Social Security and worker’s compensation payments will cost the district an additional $100,000 in year-to-year expenditures.
Payroll and benefits will account for 80 percent of the budget.
“The outcome shows that the community understood the needs and priorities expressed in this budget and supported them, despite difficult economic times,” School Board President Robert Summer said. “It is recognition that the education of our children is a priority of the community when done in a manner that is efficient and respect of all constituencies.”
In a statement, Eastchester PTA Council Co-Presidents Andy Bellach and Marianne Gordineer also expressed their appreciation to the community.
“The PTA Council wishes to express its gratitude to our community, including our PTA members, for supporting the school budget. PTA members -- parents, grandparents, educators -- are strong advocates for our children,” they said. “Their voices were heard loud and clear today through their support for a fiscally and educationally responsible budget that stays within the tax cap, despite the continued failure of Governor Cuomo to provide any meaningful mandate relief to our schools.”