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Bridgehampton School Budget Re-Vote Tuesday

On May 28, after its initial budget vote fell short of of the required supermajority of 60 percent by 36 votes, the Bridgehampton Board of Education announced its decision to present the same $12.3 million budget to the community for a re-vote on June 17.

The proposed 2014-15 budget, a 9.93 percent or $1.1 million increase over last year’s, requires a supermajority of 60 percent because it pierces the state-mandated tax levy cap.

With the allowable exclusions, the budget would have been a 4.4 percent increase for 2014-2015 to area taxpayers. On May 20, the community voiced their support with a 133/112 in favor of the budget, but now they just need to increase the number of votes in favor of the budget or they risk having to start from scratch with a 0 percent tax levy increase, which would necessitate an additional $800,500 in spending cuts.

“As required we held another budget presentation last evening,” Bridgehampton Superintendent Dr. Lois Favre said on Tuesday. “The PowerPoint from that provides some highlights of our school year, as well as some important things for the community to understand. It is available on our website www.bridgehampton.k12.ny.us.

Additionally, Favre sent out a budget newsletter recapping all the details so that voters would be better informed about what is at stake when the second vote comes up on June 17.

Favre said the that the budget newsletter advises that while the percentages noted sound ominous, the actual tax cap amount would have been 4.4 percent with exclusions, so the board is asking for another 5.5 percent.

“The amount of tax increase for a $500,000 home is roughly $50 for the year,” Favre wrote in an email. “And with that size increase we believe that the students will lose MUCH more, should the budget not pass. In addition we outlined all that we would lose this year, and some considerations for the next year, should we have to go to a zero percent increase on the levy."

A defeat would require the district to cut its PreK 3 or PreK 4 programs, After School Program (ASPIRE,) Driver’s Education, Clubs and Drama, Field Trips, Extracurricular, Swimming at the YMCA (and transportation for the same,) Summer Programming (Drama, Young Farmer’s and Jump Start,) and reduction in summer guidance, Arts in Education or Character Eduction Programming, Technology would not be updated nor would the music equipment, there would be a reduction in library materials, the Virtual Enterprise program and internships would be reduced as would college partnerships for secondary students, vocational education opportunities for students through BOCES would be limited, as would transportation to BOCES, Teacher/Aide/Staff positions would need to be cut (3 full time and 2 part time,) and staff development training would be reduced at a time of increased accountability and changing standards.

The budget re-vote will be held on Tuesday, June 17, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Bridgehampton School gym.

rita June 11, 2014 at 11:11 PM
Bridgehampton School district is over funded. Shameful they're putting the same budget up for a vote.
John Anderson June 12, 2014 at 08:24 PM
The Board members are arrogant. What part of no don't they understand. Here's hoping for even more no votes!

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