School districts presenting budgets to voters next Tuesday plan to spend an average of $33,404 per student, up 4.4 percent from the current school year, according to new state data.

Data collected by the state Education Department and made searchable below show most districts (459) plan to increase total spending by more than inflation, even as only 119 of the 667 districts expect enrollment to increase by 1 percent or more and almost a third of districts (218) expect enrollment declines of at least 1 percent.

In nearly one-quarter of districts (157), spending is set to rise more than 5.4 percent, more than twice as quickly as the expected 2.7 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index forecast by state officials for calendar 2024.

Every district plans to spend at least $20,000 per student, more than half of districts plan to spend at least $33,000 and nearly one-quarter of districts (142) plan to spend more than $40,000.

On a regional basis, Long Island districts plan to spend the most per student ($37,758), followed by the Mid-Hudson region at $36,452. Western New York districts are together set to spend the least ($27,846). Per-pupil spending, measured at the county level, will exceed $25,000 in all 57 counties outside New York City.

Despite record multi-year increases in state school aid, more than a third of school districts (284) plan to also hike their property tax levies faster than inflation. The largest planned increases are:

  • Kiryas Joel UFSD (16.3 percent)
  • Springs UFSD (10.8 percent)
  • New Lebanon CSD (9.8 percent)
  • Horseheads CSD (9.4 percent)
  • Keene CSD (8.9 percent)
  • Tupper Lake CSD (8.8 percent)
  • East Hampton UFSD (8.7 percent)
  • Ithaca CSD (8.4 percent)
  • Amagansett UFSD (7.8 percent)
  • Morrisville-Eaton CSD (7.5 percent)

Nearly half of districts (287) plan to increase property taxes by exactly as much as New York’s property tax cap allows without approval from 60 percent of voters. Just 31 districts plan to override their cap. The data do not include the “Big 5” school districts, which do not present budgets for voter approval.

“These data show that even with a deluge of state aid, some school districts would have pushed property taxes much higher if the property tax cap weren’t protecting families and businesses,” said Ken Girardin, research director.

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