© 2024 WSKG

601 Gates Road
Vestal, NY 13850

217 N Aurora St
Ithaca, NY 14850

FCC Public Files:
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Ithaca City School District budget is on the ballot Tuesday

The district says most of the budget will go towards salaries and benefits.
Aurora Berry
The district says most of the budget will go towards salaries and benefits.

Ithaca residents will have an opportunity to vote on the Ithaca City School District’s proposed budget on Tuesday.

The district’s budget would increase spending by over $10 million, totaling around $169 million. Officials say the revenue from local property tax levies would increase by around eight percent.

Some homeowners in Ithaca are worried about affordability and question whether the money is being spent wisely.

During a tense public hearing on the budget earlier this week, Kay Minnix described her struggle to afford to live in Ithaca as a retiree on a fixed income, a struggle she feels the new budget would exacerbate.

“Today, staying in one's home is as financially challenging as buying it,” she said. “I now worry about how to pay for a new furnace or replace appliances.”

Members of the Ithaca Board of Education said those extra funds are necessary. The board previously voted down a budget that would have called for around $2 million more in funding.

Taxes provide a majority of school funding and district officials say the money is needed to maintain programs and fulfill union obligations. Most of the budget is allocated to salaries and benefits, with a small increase from last year.

There’s a nine percent increase towards BOCES, which provides career and technical education. The district said that’s mostly due to the rising cost of education for students enrolled there.

Voters will accept or reject the proposed budget on Tuesday.

If the measure fails, the district has two options: It can resubmit the budget or a revised version for a vote in June, or adopt a contingency budget. That would mean the tax levy would be consistent with the previous budget and could lead to cuts.

Polling locations are listed on the Ithaca City School District’s website.