HARRISON, N.Y. – Residents will vote Tuesday, May 20, on a $109.11 million Harrison School District budget that would raise taxes on Harrison homeowners 3.51 percent and cut the foreign language program at the elementary schools.
The tax rate increase equates to $732.73 per $1,000 of assessed value on a home, which is up $25.30 per $1,000 of assessed value from the current year.
The budget, which has been adopted by the school board, increases spending 1.01 percent. The total amount of money to be collected through property taxes, known as the tax levy, will increase 3.42 percent to $99.65 million. This complies with the state-mandated cap on the property tax levy because the district plans to use $3.57 million in fund balance.
The budget maintains class sizes and provides classroom-based instructional coaching to all elementary school teachers.
“However, in order to address the most essential needs of our academic program, meet the many unfunded mandates, and remain within the tax levy cap, we reluctantly decided to eliminate the elementary foreign language program,” School Superintendent Louis Wool said on the school website. “In order to sustain the benefits of early exposure to a second language, we are currently exploring an alternative approach to provide enrichment opportunities to students in our elementary schools.”
The cut will save more than $400,000, said Robert Salierno, assistant superintendent for business. The middle and high school foreign language programs will remain intact.
At the middle and high school there will be increased security personnel for after school and night activities. It also increases staffing at the high school to support course enrollment growth.
There are also three open seats on the school board. None of the incumbents with expiring terms are running for re-election. Newcomers Kelly Mulvoy Mangan, Robert Sullivan and Lindy Wolverton are running uncontested.
Voting takes place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at neighborhood elementary schools.