Budget Votes & Board Elections

School Budget VoteYour Vote Matters
Tuesday, May 21

Horace Greeley High School Gymnasium
7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

On Tuesday, May 21, voters will have the opportunity to vote yes or no on the School Budget Resolution for the 2019-20 school year, which authorizes expenditures of $126,152,188. This represents a spending increase of $3,592,200 (2.93%) over the current year’s budget.

At the same time, voters will also consider two ballot propositions--one for cafeteria renovations at Bell Middle School and one to create a security vestibule at our 3 elementary and 2 middle schools. Additionally, community members will be voting on the Chappaqua Public Library Budget Resolution for the 2019-20 school year and they will be electing one member to the Chappaqua Public Library Board of Trustees. Finally, the community will be electing two members to the Chappaqua Central School District Board of Education.

Budget Hotline 
Do you have questions about the proposed budget?  Administrators and Board of Education members are available to answer your questions.

  • Email – Write the Board at BoEducation@ccsd.ws.  
  • Telephone – Call Assistant Superintendent for Business John Chow at 238-7200 x1006 or Superintendent Christine Ackerman at 238-7200 x1002. 

Expenditures
The District uses a zero-based budget development process, building the budget by adding together each anticipated expense. The resulting budget is the summation of the salaries and benefits for each employee, the contractual agreements with outside vendors, orders for materials and supplies, etc. Past year expenditures are analyzed for guidance, but the budget does not assume that previous year expenses are automatically carried forward.  

The proposed budget seeks to preserve the excellence of the Chappaqua Schools while pursuing efficiencies. This budget maintains class sizes at all levels and adjusts personnel to effectively manage enrollment at all schools, Furthermore, the proposed budget addresses the District's Strategic Coherence Plan, supports STEAM/problem-based learning at all schools, expands the science research course at Greeley, leverages 1:1 access to digital devices, and supports 67 athletic teams at all levels.

Revenues 
Chappaqua is slated to receive approximately $9.79 million in aid from New York State. An additional $1.84 million in revenue is anticipated from local sales tax, charges for services, and miscellaneous sources. The Board of Education is appropriating $3,912,954 from its fund balance as additional revenue in the proposed budget. The necessary tax levy is $110,028,563, an increase of 0.94%, which is within the tax cap law.

Property Taxes
The total tax levy is apportioned among New Castle and Mt. Pleasant residents of the school district and is based on two factors: taxable valuations and equalization rates. The estimated tax rate changes for 2019-20 are:

  • Town of New Castle Residents:  Increase by 0.66% 
  • Town of Mt. Pleasant Residents:  Increase by 1.63% 

It is important to note that since the 2019-2020 proposed budget is again below the tax cap, eligible homeowners will receive a STAR Property Tax Rebate from NYS. The rebate amount will equal the STAR tax savings multiplied by a percentage, depending on income.

Your Vote Matters
Please vote on Tuesday, May 21.  Historically, less than 15% of eligible school district voters actually vote. We urge you to review the budget information and register your opinion at the polls.

Resources

What's On the Ballot?

YES            NO
SCHOOL  BUDGET  RESOLUTION
RESOLVED: That the Board of Education of the Chappaqua Central School District be and hereby is authorized to expend the sum of $126,152,188 set forth in the School District Budget for the School Year 2019-2020, and that the necessary tax be levied therefor.


YES            NO
LIBRARY  BUDGET  RESOLUTION

RESOLVED: That there is hereby appropriated the sum of $3,176,254 for the Chappaqua Central School District Public Library for the School Year 2019-2020, and that the necessary tax be levied therefor.


YES            NO
BELL SCHOOL CAFETERIA IMPROVEMENTS PROPOSITION

“Shall the Board of Education of the Chappaqua Central School District, Westchester County, New York be authorized to perform certain alteration, reconstruction and renovation work, including replacement of equipment at the cafeteria at the Robert E. Bell Middle School, including incidental expenses, at a maximum expenditure of $390,000, with the amount of up to $190,000 to be transferred from the Fund Balance in the School District Lunch Fund as of June 30, 2019 to the capital fund to pay for the costs of such project. (The remaining amount will be paid through interfund transfers to the capital fund in the general fund budgets for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years.)  No budget increase is called for in this proposition.”


YES            NO
SAFETY & SECURITY IMPROVEMENTS AT THE MIDDLE SCHOOLS AND ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

“Shall the Board of Education of the Chappaqua Central School District, Westchester County, New York be authorized to perform certain safety and security alteration, reconstruction and improvements at the Robert E. Bell and Seven Bridges Middle Schools and Douglas Grafflin, Roaring Brook and Westorchard Elementary Schools, including but not limited to building access/entrance renovations and reconstruction, installation, repair and upgrades of building access controls and security measures, including incidental expenses, at a maximum expenditure of $1,350,000, with the amount of up to $1,350,000 to be transferred from the Unassigned Fund Balance for the 2018-2019 school year to the capital fund to pay for the costs of such project. No budget increase is called for in this proposition.”


SCHOOL BOARD
To elect TWO members of the Board of Education for a term of three years. Candidates' names are listed as they will appear on the ballot.

Cailee Hwang
Hilary Grasso
Warren Messner
Jeffrey Mester
Leah Heiss


CHAPPAQUA PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD
To elect ONE Trustee of the School District Library for a term of Five years. Candidates' names are listed as they will appear on the ballot.

Lane Shea


Voters Guide for the Board of Education and Library Board elections
(Independently produced by the League of Womens Voters of New Castle)

2019-2020 School budget Book

2019-2020 School Budget Book (Adopted 4/10/19)

2019-2020 Budget Highlights

  • Responding to the BOE’s Strategic Questions & the District’s Strategic Coherence Plan.
     
  • Meeting the 2019/20 Operating Standards
     
  • Ensuring students are physically, socially and emotionally safe. 
     
  • Increasing opportunities for Greeley students in the area of science research. 
     
  • Increasing faculty leadership to support the new STEAM center at the high school. 
     
  • Increasing faculty leadership to support the science research program. 
     
  • Providing additional clerical staff to support the athletic department and community facilities use. 
     
  • Addressing a rising English as a New Language (ENL) population by increasing  staff to deliver services as required under NYS regulations.
     
  • Adjusting personnel based on enrollment. 
     
  • Maintaining a budget below the tax cap to ensure community members are eligible for property tax rebate.  
     
  • Redesigning outdated facilities without impacting the tax levy. 

Proposition 1 - Robert E. Bell Middle School Cafeteria

This ballot proposition is asking voters to allow the District to TRANSFER money from specified accounts fin order to renovate the cafeteria at Robert E. Bell Middle School. The District is NOT seeking any additional monies by way of this propositions. It will allow for certain alteration, reconstruction, and renovation work, including replacement of equipment and removal of a wall. This redesign of the serving line area will improve functionality and traffic flow as well as provide for a faster and more enjoyable dining experience.

CURRENT LAYOUT

Current layout of Bell Cafeteria

 

PROPOSED LAYOUT

Proposed layout of Bell Cafeteria

 

Frequently Asked Questions. . .

Q: How will this proposition be funded?
A: At a maximum expenditure of $390,000, the District is seeking voter approval to transfer up to $190,000 from the Fund Balance in the School District Lunch Fund as of June 30, 2019 to the capital fund to pay for the costs of such project, with the remaining amount to be paid through interfund transfers to the capital fund in the general fund budgets for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years. No budget increase is called for in this proposition.

Q: Why doesn’t the District instead transfer the $190K to the General Fund and use it to reduce the tax levy?
A: Doing so is prohibited by New York State education law. The School Lunch Fund is a separate, stand-alone fund used to account for revenues and expenditures in connection with the school district’s food service program. Monies in the School Lunch Fund can be used only for expenditures relating to the food services program (e.g. equipment, furniture, renovations, etc.).

Q: Will this proposition impact the proposed 2019-20 school budget, or future budgets?
A:
No. This proposition will have no impact on the school budget in any way. It will not affect the final budget numbers; it will not affect the tax levy, and it will not affect the tax rates for District residents. No budget increase is called for in this proposition. The District is NOT seeking any additional monies by way of this proposition.

Q: How will Proposition 1 be worded on the ballot come May 21?
BELL SCHOOL CAFETERIA IMPROVEMENTS PROPOSITION
“Shall the Board of Education of the Chappaqua Central School District, Westchester County, New York be authorized to perform certain alteration, reconstruction and renovation work, including replacement of equipment at the cafeteria at the Robert E. Bell Middle School, including incidental expenses, at a maximum expenditure of $390,000, with the amount of up to $190,000 to be transferred from the Fund Balance in the School District Lunch Fund as of June 30, 2019 to the capital fund to pay for the costs of such project. (The remaining amount will be paid through interfund transfers to the capital fund in the general fund budgets for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years.)  No budget increase is called for in this proposition.”

 Q: How can I get more information or ask a question?
 A:
Please contact John Chow, Assistant Superintendent of Business, at 914-238-7200 x1006 or via email at jochow@ccsd.ws.

 

Proposition 2 - Security Vestibules at DG / RB / WO / BS / SB

This proposition will address safety and security issues at the 3 elementary and 2 middle schools--specifically, certain alteration, reconstruction, and improvements including but not limited to building access/entrance renovations and reconstruction, installation, repair and upgrades of building access controls and security measures.

Each elementary and middle school will have a security vestibule with two sets of locked doors with shatter-resistant glass. Visitors would first be “buzzed” into a holding area where they would engage with security personnel and produce identification. Upon further vetting, visitors would then be buzzed past the second set of locked doors with bullet-resistant glass in order to enter into the school. 

Douglas Grafflin Elementary School

Grafflin Vestibule

 

Roaring Brook Elementary School

Roaring Brook Vestibule

 

Westorchard Elementary School

Westorchard Vestibule

 

Seven Bridges Middle School

Proposed layout of Bell Cafeteria

 

Robert E. Bell Middle School
(with front wheelchair access)

Current layout of Bell Cafeteria

 

Artist Rendering - Wheelchair Access
Robert E. Bell Middle School

Bell front wheelchair access.

 

Frequently Asked Questions. . .

Q: How will this proposition be funded?
A: At a maximum expenditure of $1,350,000, the District is seeking voter approval to transfer the amount up to $1,350,000 from the Unassigned Fund Balance for the 2018-2019 school year to the capital fund to pay for the costs of such project.  

Q: Will this proposition impact the proposed 2019-20 school budget, or future budgets?
A: No. This proposition will have no impact on the school budget in any way. It will not affect the final budget numbers; it will not affect the tax levy, and it will not affect the tax rates for District residents. No budget increase is called for in this proposition. The District is NOT seeking any additional monies by way of this proposition.

Q: How will Proposition 2 be worded on the ballot come May 21?
SAFTEY & SECURITY IMPROVEMENTS AT THE MIDDLE SCHOOLS AND ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
“Shall the Board of Education of the Chappaqua Central School District, Westchester County, New York be authorized to perform certain safety and security alteration, reconstruction and improvements at the Robert E. Bell and Seven Bridges Middle Schools and Douglas Grafflin, Roaring Brook and Westorchard Elementary Schools, including but not limited to building access/entrance renovations and reconstruction, installation, repair and upgrades of building access controls and security measures, including incidental expenses, at a maximum expenditure of $1,350,000, with the amount of up to $1,350,000 to be transferred from the Unassigned Fund Balance for the 2018-2019 school year to the capital fund to pay for the costs of such project. No budget increase is called for in this proposition.”

 Q: How can I get more information or ask a question?
 A:
Please contact John Chow, Assistant Superintendent of Business, at 914-238-7200 x1006 or via email at jochow@ccsd.ws.

Budget Increase (2.93%) vs. Tax Levy increase (0.94%)

In looking at the school district’s eight most recent budgets (2012-13 to 2019-20), the average budget-to-budget increase is 1.78% and the average tax levy increase (revenue from real property taxes) is 1.27%.

In June 2016, residents approved a $42.5M Capital Projects Bond to improve infrastructure, upgrade fields, build active learning environments, and improve the Chappaqua Public Library.

To honor the commitment made to residents to keep the $42.5M bond tax-neutral (having no impact on the tax levy or estimated tax rates), the sale of undeveloped land to a home developer, Use of Fund Balance, and an increase in Building Aid from NYS will offset the increase in Debt Service for the 2019-2020 School Budget.

Without this new Debt Service amount, the 2019-20 budget-to-budget increase would have been 1.29%, however, the tax levy and tax rates would have remained the same.

Budget Development Presentations

Voter Registration & Absentee Ballot Information

In order to vote in the Chappaqua Central School District's Annual Budget Vote/Election on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, you must be a registered voter.

To be eligible to vote you must:

  • be a citizen of the United States
  • be at least 18 years old by May 21, 2019 (the date of the election)
  • be a resident of the school district for at least 30 days prior to May 21, 2019
  • be registered with either the school district's board of registration or with the county board of elections. If you have previously registered to vote, but have not voted in either a school district or general election in the last four years, you must re-register to vote. (You can call the District Clerk to verify your registration status.)

Registration: You may register in person with Liisa Elsner, the School District Clerk, Chappaqua School District Education Center, 66 Roaring Brook Road, Chappaqua, New York, 10514 (238-7200 x1002) during normal business hours, up to five (5) days before the vote. The last day to register to vote is Thursday, May 16, 2019.

Absentee ballots: Absentee ballot applications are available from Liisa Elsner, District Clerk at the Education Center during normal business hours (8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.) or by downloading the application by clicking HERE.

Absentee ballot applications should be submitted in original form, with the original signature. It must be submitted at least seven days before the vote/election (May 14, 2019) if the ballot will be mailed to the voter and by the day before the vote/election (May 20, 2019) if the ballot will be personally picked up by the voter.  Absentee ballots must be received by the District Clerk by 5:00 p.m. on the day of the vote/election (May 21, 2019) in order to be counted.

2019-2020 Budget Newsletter