Home » 2011-12 Millbrook school district budgets approved

2011-12 Millbrook school district budgets approved

MILLBROOK — Tuesday, May 17, torrential rain flooded all of Dutchess County, and from noon until 9 p.m. members of the community trekked to the Millbrook Middle School Auditorium to vote for the proposed 2011-12 school budget.This year’s proposed budget came out to $25,686,794, a 2.75 percent spending increase over the current year, according to the Millbrook Central School District Messenger newsletter. The Millbrook community voted on whether to authorize the Board of Education (BOE) to expend the proposed budget, which was approved. The ballot also included potential BOE candidates James Ross, Thomas Hurley and Thomas Lehmkuhl. Two spots were open for election for three-year terms (July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2014) and one vacancy for the Board of Education to complete a term from May 18, 2011, to June 30, 2012. Lloyd Jaeger, superintendent, discussed this year’s voting turnout. “I don’t have that number in front of me, but I want to say 654 total people voted, a low turnout. I don’t really have an idea why,” he said. “Weather conditions could have contributed to that. It was a severely rainy day, that could have been a contributing factor.” The Millbrook Central School District states its goal is ensuring the students of Millbrook are receiving the best education possible with the necessary preparation to continue to higher education. However, assuring that a student’s needs are met does affect the Millbrook community’s pocket. Taxpayers are essential to funding the school district; Millbrook particularly relies heavily on property tax compared to other Dutchess County school districts. According to the Messenger, Millbrook ranks fourth among the 13 Dutchess County school districts for the cost of putting a student through the district. Property tax reportedly makes up 76.71 percent of district revenue, ranking it second out of Dutchess County districts. State aid is sparse, however, for the Millbrook district. Millbrook ranks 12 out of 13 for state aid revenue per student and 12th in state aid as district revenue compared to the 13 districts. “It was a challenging time to develop the budget because for the second year in a row we respectively received limited state aid assistance or reductions in state aid,” said Jaeger. “Consequently, trying to develop a budget with increasing costs was a challenge. Therefore, our budget-to-budget growth was 2.75 percent, which was not a big budget growth, but it was still an increase.” Regardless of the revenue generated from property taxes, the district contends that Millbrook‘s true value property tax rate has consistently been the lowest for 12 years running. The Millbrook Central School District anticipated the 2011-12 tax levy will increase by 3.96 percent. “We made an effort to maintain low budget-to-budget and low tax levy increases in our budget; the tax levy increase for this was 3.96 percent,” Jaeger said. “So that seems to be something that our community was willing to support.”Regardless of the struggle to keep tax dollars down, the Millbrook School District is highly conscious of keeping a consistent budget and spending conservatively. The major budget components are broken down into three parts: the program component, which increased by 1.94 percent; the administration component, which increased 1.88 percent; and the capital component, which increased 7.53 percent. “We are going to be challenged to keep budgets low because there are costs that are associated with our business and state revenues seem to be limited, so we tried to be consistent in slowing the growth of spending,” said Jaeger. “We appreciate the community’s support for our programs, and we look forward to invest for our students. We are fortunate to be able to hold onto all of our programs and staff; the community’s support for that is very much appreciated.”

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