Above: New Paltz Middle School in New Paltz. Photo by Robin Weinstein for The New Paltz Oracle.
For both New Paltz and Highland voters, the second time was the charm.
Voters from both towns approved their respective school budgets on Tuesday. Highland's budget contest was down to the wire, but New Paltz's budget passed by a landslide.
Highland passed its proposed $36.1 million budget with a tally of 1,362 to 893, just nine votes over the state-mandated 60% supermajority. The Times Herald Record was there to capture the mood:
A cheer went up when the final tally was announced. Superintendent Deborah Haab rolled her eyes, shook her head and told a supporter who congratulated her that the vote was "too close, too close." Turnout for the vote was the highest in living memory, said several veteran school board watchers.
Highland’s new school budget will raise the tax levy by 2 percent, but seven positions in the district are expected to be cut as a result of the budget’s approval,
New Paltz voters passed a revised version of a budget that was unable to achieve a super-majority by 18 votes last month, the THR reports. The proposed $50.4 million budget passed 2,309 to 846 votes, and raised the district’s tax levy by 3.4 percent, according to the New Paltz School District's website.
The budget passed by a 73 percent margin of victory, eclipsing the needed 50 percent. If the budget did not pass, the district would have been forced to slice an additional $1.3 million, a move that could have included cutting certain sports, clubs and music programs, according to YNN.