WVCSD Board of Education adopts 2023-24 proposed budget


WVCSD Board of Education adopts 2023-24 proposed budget

May 9, 2023

Dear Warwick Valley CSD Community:

On Thursday, May 4, 2023, the Board of Education unanimously adopted a budget that maintains a high standard of education for our students while staying below the allowable tax level limit. The District held nine public presentations over the past several months, where we examined different aspects of the budget and you can access the presentation documents on the district website. In addition, you will also be receiving a budget newsletter in about a week.

As residents, taxpayers, and parents, we recognize the financial effect on our community. Thus, we have prioritized areas that preserve the educational experience for our students while keeping the proposal below the tax cap.

Quality Education: The proposed budget would maintain the same or similar class sizes, continue to offer our enriching course options, and provide the existing wide range of co- and extracurricular activities, all aligned with our Portrait of a Graduate.

Safety: Given the current climate of concern for safety and security, we have allocated funding for five full-time Warwick police officers, as well as several security guards, and numerous enhancements to our safety infrastructure. These measures would help to enhance the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and faculty, as our children focus on their academic pursuits.

Fiscal Stewardship: As local taxpayers, we understand the financial impact on us all, so we have kept the proposal below the allowable tax cap by $631,157. Over the past three years, the average annual tax levy increase has been 0.74%.

Student Supports: The proposed budget provides additional support for our students, and our proposal emphasizes mental health resources, special education services, summer programs to address learning loss, and drug resistance programming.

With that said, maintaining our programs and facilities as described above would come at an increase in cost. We have implemented measures during the budget process to take advantage of opportunities to reduce the proposed budget and increase non-tax revenue sources. Despite receiving several million dollars less in New York State funding when compared to similarly sized districts in the region, we remain committed to providing our intended educational programs while keeping the financial burden on our community in mind. The proposed 2023-24 budget includes a 3.49% tax levy increase, which is below the state’s allowable tax cap for approval of the budget by a majority of voters who will vote on May 16, 2023. We encourage you to participate in the voting on that day.

As members of the Board, we recall the challenges of the past, particularly declining student enrollment and state foundation aid shortfalls. This coming year, our state aid is fully funded for the first time in recent memory and without the full restoration of this aid, the district would have faced the real prospect of a significant revenue shortfall next year.

Nevertheless, we are pleased to say that those difficulties now seem to be behind us. In fact, the Warwick Valley Central School District has experienced exceptional growth in enrollment. Currently, the District boasts about 3,730 students, including nearly 550 more than initially projected. Our district’s increases in enrollment are exceptional, and it is rare to find another district in our region or throughout the state that can boast similar growth. We attribute this success to our wide range of educational offerings, fiscal responsibility, and the strong support of our community. Despite this growth, we have remained fiscally responsible and have never exceeded the tax cap. Additionally, we have managed to keep tax levies below the cap on eight occasions over the past 12 years, which has saved millions of dollars for taxpayers.

We urge all citizens to actively participate in this critical decision-making process and exercise their right to vote on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. You are always welcome to attend our meetings, view the presentation on the district website, and submit written questions via email to budget.questions@wvcsd.org.

Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to continuing to provide the best education to our students while being responsible with our community’s resources.

The WVCSD Board of Education


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