School Budget and Board of Education Vote Tuesday 

Two Incumbents looking for another 3-year term



By Regina Clarkin 

The Peekskill City School District’s $101 million budget is up for vote on Tuesday along with two trustee seats. Board President Alan Jenkins and Trustee Pamela Hallman-Johnson are running unopposed for three-year terms. Voters can go to Peekskill High School from 7 am to 9 p.m to cast their ballot. 

The spending plan represents a less than one percent increase over last year. Under the proposed budget, the impact to taxpayers will be an increase of $35.75. That is based on an average assessed value of $9,600 with a tax bill of $7,089 according to Robin Zimmerman, assistant superintendent for business. 

The $101,368,974 budget sees an increase of aid from the state by ten percent to $47 million with $42 million coming from Peekskill property taxes. The remaining $11 million comes from other revenue and an assigned fund balance. A key contributor to the low tax increase is the injection of federal dollars to school districts.The American Rescue Plan Act provides $123 billion in new flexible funds for school districts over the next three and a half school years, said Zimmerman. 

There’s money in the budget for an additional 900 Chromebooks for students with the goal of every student having a district-issued computer by September.  The MiFi (mobile internet) connection service for students using Chromebooks will be extended based on needs and request basis according to Janice Reid, the district’s technology director.  And there continues to be money in the budget for a tech support phone line for parents. The hours are 8-3 and calls ring on all the technology teaching assistants extensions until a pick-up. If no one is available, a parent is called back and given help with the technical question they are having around their child’s virtual learning. 

In the school district’s In Our Schools newsletter, mailed to every household in anticipation of the budget and trustee vote, Superintendent David Mauricio discussed the $10 million Capital Referendum that passed in 2019 and saw a renovation of Torpy Field. The other capital improvement completed since the vote is the opening of the Lisa Rolleri Parent Resource Center at the site of the former Columbian and Washington Engines Fire House on Broad Street. The Resource Center provides families with access to 30 new laptops, a children’s library and play area, and a parents’ library. In addition, the Center provides workshops on career readiness, financial literacy, and parenting. It is named after kindergarten teacher Lisa Rolleri who was killed in her Amberlands apartment in Croton by a neighbor in 1996 in a dispute over noise. 

The two remaining construction projects have begun at Hillcrest and Peekskill High School. They are STEAM labs set to open in the fall.