Vote: May 15, 2018
Budget Materials 2018-19
Board of Education Elections 2018
Petitions for the Board of Education are due on Monday, April 16. Candidates running for election will be announced then.
Two seats will need to be filled for a three-year term (7/1/2018 to 6/30/2021). They are currently held by Christopher Wolff (president) and James Dreves (trustee), whose terms expire on June 30, 2018.
BOARD OF EDUCATION TIMELINE
March 13: Budget draft presentation
April 10: Line-by-line review
April 17: Budget Adoption
May 1: Budget Hearing
May 15: Annual Budget Vote & School Board Elections
"Success for Every Student"
Our motto, “Success for Every Student,” highlights the Port Chester Public Schools’ vision to prepare students academically and emotionally for college and career. To engage and support all children from kindergarten through 12th grade, we offer high-quality academics, along with a rich variety of athletics, arts, clubs, extra-curricular activities and community service options. Students may decide to pursue trade or university training, start a business, join the military or follow a unique path. With a diverse education, they can begin shaping their futures.
Highlights of how we promote success for every student:
- We received the highest state aid increase for the 2017-18 academic year, thanks to local advocacy efforts; this totaled nearly $8 million in additional funds over the past five years.
- We passed an $80 million bond to address overcrowding and update critical facilities.
- PCHS is an International Baccalaureate World School, offering the prestigious IB Diploma Program. It also offers a New York State “seal of bi-literacy” on diplomas for qualifying students.
- We have an elementary enrichment program, concentrating on gifted students. Most recently, they studied software engineering coding.
- PCHS was ranked 161 of 1,500 public New York high schools in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 Best High Schools rankings, earning a silver medal awarded to only 2.4% of eligible high schools.
- We enriched our use of social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – for stronger community communication.
- We negotiated responsible employee contracts to ensure sufficient annual savings and maintain the tax rebate for property taxpayers.
- We now have content specialist supervisors/directors in ELA, math and science to improve instructional practices and student success.
- We refurbished our PCMS planetarium with state-of-the-art sound/video equipment. The planetarium was non-functional for over a decade.
- After losing 21stCentury funding for after-school programs, we received a donation from the Dalio Foundation and partnered with the Carver Center to provide high-quality after-school programming.
- Nearly 40% of our students are enrolled in Advanced Placement, IB and Honors courses. We offer 11 IB and 12 AP courses. In recent years, PCHS added AP environmental science, computer science, statistics courses and physics.
- We have a championship marching band and offer vocal and instrumental music for all students.
- Our 2017 football team won the AA Central League championship for the first time in 15 years.
Tax Cap Q&A
A: The Property Tax Levy Cap, created by legislation that was passed in June, 2011, places new restrictions on how school districts (and municipalities) may increase their tax levies. Although the new law has been referred to as a "2% tax cap," it does not in fact restrict any proposed tax levy increase to 2%. However, the law requires at least 60% voter approval for a school budget if the proposed levy increase exceeds a certain amount. That amount, which is called the "tax levy limit," will be determined by each district according to a formula outlined in the law. It is unique and will vary by district.
Q: Does the Property Tax Cap law limit the annual increase of my property taxes to less than 2% each year?
A: The law does not cap an individual's school tax bill. Its requirements apply only to the total school tax levy - the total amount in property taxes a district collects. Increases in individual taxes are often different than increases in the levy due to a variety of factors outside a school district's control, including assessment values in the community.
Q: Does the Property Tax Cap mean the total school tax levy will be limited to a 2% increase each year?
A: No. There are exceptions that may result in a tax levy increase greater than 2%. Some of those exceptions include district growth as a result of new construction and legally mandated pension contributions. Ultimately, school districts will use a complex calculation involving eight different steps to come up with the tax levy limit.
Q: To maintain educational programming, can the district propose a budget that exceeds the tax levy cap limit?
A: Districts have the option to exceed their tax levy limits with 60% voter approval.
Q: What happens if voters reject the budget?
A: The law contains new contingent budget restrictions. If a district fails to gain voter approval and must adopt a contingent budget, then there can be NO increase in the tax levy at all. This would force incredibly difficult budget decisions for the district.