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Voters largely approve school budgets in Tuesday's vote, with some outliers

polling place sign at a local school board election
Megan Zerez
A sign outside a polling place in Ithaca's Fall Creek neighborhood.

Ten school districts across New York failed to pass their yearly budgets after voters rejected them in Tuesday's local school board elections.

Among those districts were Addison Central School District in Steuben County and Cortland Enlarged School District in Cortland County.

Cortland’s budget proposed a larger tax levy increase of 9.5 percent. The budget in Addison included an increase of just 1.5 percent – which is below both the statewide average and the tax cap.

The Cortland and Addison school districts will now need to hold a second vote on their budgets in June.

School districts' yearly budgets are on the ballot each May during local school board elections. Robert Schneider, of the New York State School Board Association, said it's uncommon for voters to reject those budgets.

"As we so often see, voters in communities all across the state resoundingly gave school spending plans their seal of approval," Schneider said in a statement.

Only 10 school districts out of more than 600 statewide failed to pass a budget. That's slightly more than the six failed budgets last year and despite an influx of state dollars in the form of Foundation Aid.

Voters in many school districts also elected new school board members Tuesday. The New York State School Board Association estimates that 62 percent of winning candidates statewide were incumbents.

But in some districts, like Ithaca, incumbents fared poorly — just one of three won re-election. In that race, all four candidates endorsed by the teachers' union won by significant margins.