WVCSD seeks voter approval on proposed budget

Warwick. This year voters will decide on a proposed budget of $115,161,458

| 15 May 2024 | 11:18

The Warwick Valley Central School District board gave the public a final look at its proposed budget before next week’s vote on May 21, during the public hearing at its regular meeting on May 9.

Saying that this was the “end of a long process of a budget journey,” Superintendent Dr. David Leach added that the board’s efforts had been “productive,” adding that the numbers once again come in below the New York State mandated 2% tax cap.


The district’s proposed budget of $115,161,458 is a 3.49% increase to the tax levy over the current school year’s $109,140,179. According to the mailer sent to district voters, the average tax levy increase over the past 10 years is 1.63%.


“This season was the most challenging,” Leach continued, pointing out that “[Warwick Valley is] one of the few districts in New York with not only stable enrollment, but increasing enrollment.”

“Universal Pre-K is now available to 192 students,” Leach said, of which 135 are “projected to take advantage.”

According to Leach, the key drivers in the district’s costs were collective bargaining agreements with teachers and other staff unions, special education costs, and unfunded mandates.


Also on the ballot, WV schools hope to purchase four school buses and an SUV — a mix of propane and diesel-powered vehicles — at a total cost of $780,000 to replace aging vehicles in the fleet.

The district can buy the buses without additional impact to local taxpayers: nearly 65% of the cost will be reimbursed through state transportation aid.

The district won’t be buying electric vehicles “at this time,” Leach said, adding that the school district will be asking elected officials to “reconsider the speed” of the changeover to electric.


The annual school budget is composed of three parts: program, administration, and capital.

Program costs represent 77.87% of the budget and include faculty and staff salaries and benefits, teachers’ aides, monitors and nurses, in-service training, library costs, transportation, and athletics. In the proposed budget, this comes to $90,708,041.

Administrative costs account for 11.32%, and include salaries and benefits “of all professional staff members who spend 50% or more of their time in administration, finance, and supervision.” It includes clerical staff, public information, curriculum development, legal services, and school board-related costs for the proposed price tag of $13,039,419.

Capital costs, at 9.1% of the budget, include operations and maintenance, security, budgeted capital projects, tax refunds, and interest and principal on debt, among others at a proposed total of $11,413,998.


The district gets the bulk of its revenues, 59.83%, from the school tax levy; state aid makes up the next largest share at 33.19%. The remaining revenue comes from local sources (3.94%), and other sources round things out at 3.04%.

The district projects its revenues for the 2024-25 year to be $115,161,458.

Leach reminded those in attendance of the generally high turnout in WV during previous school board elections, and hopes to “continue good turnout in the district.”

Polling places will be at the Pine Island Firehouse, Dorothy C. Wilson Education Center, and Kings Elementary. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on May 21.