Board of Education Adopts 2022-23 School Budget Proposal

Alexander Wolff

The Board of Education adopted the proposed 2022-23 school budget totalling $84,240,00 with a tax cap compliant tax levy increase of 1.95%. The proposed budget will now be sent to the voters for approval at the annual Budget Vote and Board of Education Member Election from 7am-9pm on Tuesday, May 17 in the Pelham Middle School gym. 

View Meeting Video | Access 2022-23 Proposed Budget

The budget adoption comes following two months of consideration by the Board of Education after it was initially presented by Dr. Champ in late February. Key changes from the original proposal include a reduction in the proposed tax levy from 2.62% to 1.95% through the use of additional money from the Debt Service Fund and the inclusion of a third contingency teaching position through the use of appropriated fund balance to allow flexibility for an additional elementary intervention teacher, if necessary.

“I am proud of our Board for our thoughtful, and transparent budget discussions over the past two months,” said Board of Education President Jessica DeDomenico. “I am also thankful for Dr. Champ, our administrators, and Mr. Hricay and his team for crafting an ambitious budget which supports our students’ emotional and academic needs as they emerge from one of the most challenging times in our lives.”

The 2022-23 proposed budget includes a number of additions to the District’s programming and staffing that are intended to help bolster students’ academic success and social-emotional wellness. The cost of these additions are largely offset by a significant increase in New York State Foundation Aid, which has been historically underfunded. Highlights include: 

Academics/Educational Program

  • Adding 1.5 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) permanent elementary intervention teachers, for a total of 8 intervention teachers across the four schools

  • Creating a middle school Math intervention teacher to provide additional support for students 

  • Expanding Integrated Co-Teaching at the elementary level

  • Adding a Middle School Special Education teacher to meet student IEP needs

  • Increasing world language (.8) and art (.2) teaching positions to meet student course requests

  • Adding a dedicated technology teacher to expand elective STEAM offerings based on growing student interest

  • Offering updated high school course electives based on student interest (i.e. Data Science, Humanities Research)

  • Making ELA Staff Developer full time to supplement professional learning in Teachers College Reading/Writing Workshop

  • Providing innovative and flexible furnishings to all Kindergarten Classrooms to foster student engagement

  • Expanding 1:1 Chromebook initiative to Kindergarten and 1st grade so all students in grades K-12 have access to a device.

Mental Health/Wellness

  • Creating an elementary school counselor position to continue the Fly-5 mental health curriculum

  • Providing two additional clinicians (e.g. social worker/psychologists) for the MS/HS to offer additional support to students

  • Creating a Coordinator of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion position that will serve as a liaison for students and families and work to further the District’s work around Cultural Competence

  • Creating a bowling team at PMHS as an inclusive sport to meet growing interest and participation in athletics

  • Creating a position to oversee health services 

  • Shifting responsibilities within the counseling department to provide a better counselor to student ratio for 9th graders in their transition year.

  • Continued professional development to support Responsive Classroom, DBT and other wellness programs

Given the growth in the District’s programming over the past decade and the desire to continue to recruit, develop and retain the highest quality staff, the budget proposal also includes a restructuring of the district administration to create a dedicated assistant superintendent to oversee teaching and learning and consolidate all personnel functions under an executive director of HR and leadership. Finally, the budget also includes restoration of a custodial position to support Hutchinson School and a network support specialist to support the technology department. 

In advance of the May 17 annual School Budget Vote and Board of Education member election, Dr. Champ will host three upcoming budget discussions that are open to the Pelham community. The budget discussions will be as follows:

“I’d like to thank the Board of Education for thorough and thoughtful review of the 2022-23 budget,” said Dr. Champ. “Each year, our budget serves as a reflection of our District’s priorities. This proposal includes a number of items that I believe will help us meet the goals of our strategic plan and support our students as we strive to ‘Inspire a Standard of Excellence for All Students’. I look forward to sharing details about the budget in the coming weeks and encourage the community to vote on Tuesday, May 17.”

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