After the Bayonne Board of Education opted not to pass the proposed $129 million school budget, which would raise school taxes by 2.78 percent, last week, the board unanimously approved the exact same plan at an emergency meeting tonight.
Acting School Business Administrator Brian Buckley explained that a decision needed to be made by Saturday, May 14th or the budget would default to the County Superintendent of Schools.
In comparison to the $62.1 million in school taxes for the 2015-2016 year, the total adjustments for 2016-2017 school tax will amount to approximately $62.9 million.
” Would you say that board members could not move money around within the budget [announced on] March 21st?” asked Bayonne Teachers Association President Alan D’Angelo.
Buckley responded that the budget in front of the board had not changed from last week.
None of the four board members who initially voted “no” explained their rational for changing their vote while up on the dais.
The four board members who voted no last week with a 4-4 tie were Trustees Carol Cruden, who was absent in today’s meeting, Ava Finnerty, Barry Kushnir, and Christopher Munoz. The measure passed unanimously, 8-0.
Tensions over a stalled contract between the Bayonne teacher’s union and the school district did not surface at this meeting.
The Bayonne Teachers Association has been without a contract since July 1st.
Similar Bayonne’s initially failed proposed budget and tonight’s unchanged budget, on Monday, May 10th the West New York Board of Education approved a budget of $136.6 million, which came with an eight percent school tax increase.
This was another example where it took two tries for a local board of education to get the budget passed as the teacher’s union continues to demand a new contract with the district.
WNY Superintendent of Schools Ciara Brito Herrera said at the meeting that she is “willing to support raising taxes in the town she lives,” which shows her commitment to the district’s teachers.