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Baldwin says 'yes' to $142.4 million school budget

O'Hagan and Doresca win unopposed


Baldwin residents have voted to approve (759 vs. 469) the School District 2021-22 school year budget, and incumbents Mary O'Hagan (834) and Annie Doresca (823) will resume their tenure on the Board of Education.

The $142.4 million budget represents a 2.93 percent increase over last year's budget.  Roughly $34.9 million will come from state aid and $100 million from property taxes, signifying a $1.7 million increase from last year. However, the tax levy remains compliant with the NYS Tax Levy Cap legislation at 1.74%.

Part of the budget increase helps to alleviate $4.5 million in unanticipated expenses during the Covid-19 pandemic. The budget allocations break down as follows: 75% for programs, 13% for capital expenditures, and 12% for administrative services.

While the legislative budget slated $4.3 million in relief aid that could cover the 4.5 million in Covid-related expenses so as to not increase the school budget, after accounting for adjustments, programs, and expense-driven aid, the forecasted state aid decreases to 2.3 million.

Schools Superintendent Dr. Shari Camhi explains, “So you might think, well, that’s great, but the aid that we get is not money given to us. A lot of it is expense-driven aid, and if you don’t spend the money, you don’t get the money back."