School board approves $91 million budget after shifting reserves to cut tax rise to meet state cap


The Pelham Board of Education unanimously approved a $91 million budget for the 2023-24 school year on Tuesday night. The proposed spending plan, along with two open seats on the board, will be on the school election ballot on May 16. 

The budget boosts spending 7.98% from the previous year, while raising the tax levy by 2.07%, which is the maximum allowed under the state-tax cap. 

Before the budget vote, the school board decided to “increase the use of the debt service fund to $2,175,000 to reduce the proposed tax levy increase from 2.95% to 2.07%,” according to the board’s report of its budgetary deliberations. That move came at the recommendation of the board’s finance committee.

Within the proposed budget, certain highlights contribute to the district’s strategic plan. The largest amount is directed toward salaries. 

“I do believe in this budget we have been fiscally responsible,” said Trustee Natalie Marrero. 

“Any increases go toward direct student instruction,” said Trustee Will Treves. “I feel confident the additions are going to those critical areas.”

Along with the budget, Pelham residents will vote to fill two seats with three-year terms on the board of education. Trustees Jessica DeDominico and Sue Bratone-Childs are not running for reelection. The four candidates are as follows:

  • Annemarie Garcia
  • Connie Garrido-Carmody
  • Sidney Burke
  • Tade Reen

There will be a candidate forum sponsored by the PTA Council on May 4 at 7 p.m. in Pelham Memorial High School’s Alumni Hall. 

The next board of education meeting will take place on May 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the middle school library. During the meeting, the board will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget that is required by state law.