Letter to the Editor: From the Onteora Superintendent

Dear Community Members of the Onteora Central School District,

I’d like to encourage you to come out to the District Budget Vote on Tuesday, May 20, from 2 to 9 PM at your local elementary school. This year there will be three items on the ballot: the 2014-2015 proposed budget, a no-tax-increase Capital Reserve Proposition, and the Board of Education elections.

The $51,876,125 proposed budget represents a 0.52% increase over last year. There will be a 0% increase in the levy.

The budget preserves class sizes, educational offerings, and student services. It provides additional electives at the High School, provides our Middle School students with an earlier start towards meeting their foreign language requirement, and allows interested eighth grade students to take High School Studio in Art. The proposed budget also awards a five-year transportation contract that would save money and allow us to reconfigure bus runs if needed. The budget also provides the means to replace the primary school playgrounds, repair the High School/Middle School track, repair the parking lot at Phoenicia, and address safety and security issues related to interior doors at all of our buildings. 

The Capital Reserve Proposition is the result of much hard work by the Board of Education and the Facilities Committee, whose goal was to develop a building improvement project that would address the needs of our students without creating a local tax impact. This proposition allows the District to utilize the $5 million that the voters allowed us to set aside for such work in May 2011, as well as an additional $2 million in unappropriated fund balance. It is anticipated that the State would reimburse about $2 million of the cost of the project.

The last item on the ballot is the Board elections. We have three seats opening up this year. Two people have submitted petitions: Ann McGillicuddy, who has been Board President for the past three years and a Board member for six, and Gideon Moor, a parent at Woodstock Primary School. The person with the most write-in votes will win the third Board seat.

We hope you will exercise your right to vote on May 20!


Phyllis Spiegel McGill, Ph.D.

Onteora Superintendent of Schools