Onteora approves budget; Bishop, Storey win school board seats

Exterior of Onteora Junior/Senior High School

The Onteora Junior/Senior High School.

Newly elected trustee Cindy Bishop

Cindy Bishop.

Onteora voters yesterday approved a $58.78 million budget and a capital reserve by a large margin, re-elected an incumbent and elected a new board member.

The budget passed 565-228 and the capital reserve passed 557-220.

Cindy Bishop, who is retiring as director of Pupil Personnel services, is a newcomer to the board and received 413 votes, the most of the four candidates.

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Incumbent Valerie Storey was re-elected with 380 votes.

Joseph-Daniel Letendre received 348 votes and Dave Alterio received 293 votes.

Bishop and Storey will serve three-year terms beginning July 1.

The budget calls for a levy increase of $798,588, or 1.78 percent.

Trustee Valerie Storey was re-elected

Valerie Storey.

Spending is up $847,601 or 1.46 percent.

The budget assumes school will be in session as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic but will include support for students who will need to readjust after spending the last year and a half either fully remote or in a hybrid situation.

It also increases spending for homework help and summer school because the district anticipates many students will need to catch up before the fall.

Additional funds are earmarked for mental health support to aid in readjustment.

The capital reserve fund has a limit of $10 million over the next 10 years that will be used for future improvements throughout the district. Surplus funds from prior years can then be used to grow the reserve.