Patchogue (WALK) - Residents of 3 school districts in Suffolk are going back to the polls today, as their communities get one final chance to pass a budget for the 2014-15 school year.
Bridgehampton, Sayville and West Babylon are holding budget re-votes today after their plans failed in last month's vote. All 3 districts had tried to override the state tax cap, which requires a 60% super-majority of voter approval to pass. The spending plans in Bridgehampton and Sayville actually did win over 50% of voter approval, but not the super-majority needed to bust the cap.
Only Bridgehampton is still trying to override the cap. The plan being submitted to voters in Bridgehampton today is the same plan that failed last month. As a result, it will require a super-majority to pass.
Sayville and West Babylon, on the other hand, have revised their budgets and are not longer attempting to bust the cap, so they will require only a simple majority over 50% to pass. Both districts made staff and program cuts to stay within the cap. In Sayville, secondary summer school and 15 coaching jobs will get the axe, while in West Babylon, teachers and hall monitors would be laid off and several off-site varsity sports like bowling and golf are slated to be eliminated.
If a voting plan is rejected for a second time, state law requires school districts to adopt a bare-bones contingency budget with no increase in spending from last year.
Polls are open today in Sayville and West Babylon from 7 AM to 9 PM and in Bridgehampton from 2 to 8 PM.
Photo: DV Singer