At its April 11 regular meeting, the Monticello Central School District Board of Education adopted a proposed budget for the 2023-24 school year. The proposed $97,886,695 spending plan has a zero percent increase to the tax levy, preserves all current staff and vacant positions, boosts school safety measures, enhances athletics offerings and continues to build a strong educational foundation for our students to succeed in the classroom and beyond.
Residents will vote on the proposed budget, and elect three members to the Board of Education, on Tuesday, May 16 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at all district polling sites.
No Increase In Tax Levy
The proposed spending plan is a net increase of $3.43 million over the 2022-23 budget. The rise in cost is primarily attributable to increased costs in existing expenditures, including health benefits, retirement contributions and general supplies. New expenditures only account for $916,165 of the $3.43 million increase. However, although the budget has increased, the portion of the budget that is funded by taxpayers, or the tax levy, has remained unchanged.
Less than half of the proposed budget is funded by property taxes
The district has historically worked to progressively shrink the percentage of the budget funded by the taxpayers, while aggressively pursuing alternative revenue streams. In the 2015-16 school year, the tax levy funded 51.56% of the budget. This year, the tax levy funds 44.52% of the budget, with the rest funded by state aid, grants and other sources.
The proposed spending plan includes two armed security guards through Atlas Security. The district currently employees four School Resource Officers (SROs), who are current members of local law enforcement, along with a fleet of security attendants. The addition of these two guards would ensure that the district could provide constant armed security at the secondary level from the early morning hours through the evening and during school events. The budget also includes two portable metal detectors, which can be used to screen students or visitors on a randomized basis or during district events. The district’s top priority is always the safety of its students and staff members, and the addition of these two new initiatives will add another layer to our already-robust security plan.
The proposed budget includes a new scoreboard at the Robert J. Kaiser Middle School, as well as a new high jump pit for our track and field. It also initiates a new uniform replacement cycle for the athletics department. Under this new cycle, new uniforms will be purchased each year for either varsity, junior varsity or modified players, ensuring that no uniform is older than three years. The budget also would support a new girls flag football team, provided there is sufficient interest.
The proposed budget preserves all current staff and vacant positions that are funded through the general fund. It also adds a full-time Language Other Than English (LOTE) position that had previously been funded through ESSER. Various professional development opportunities are also supported by the proposed budget to ensure that our educators continue to develop the skills necessary to foster student growth.
Please visit the budget webpage for the most up-to-date information about the budget vote, including absentee ballots, how to register, voter registration day and more.