The vast majority of school district budgets were approved by voters in New York on Tuesday, but it’s actually a decline from last year.

Of the 653 school district budgets considered, only 16 were defeated by voters.

The New York State School Boards Association, however, found that’s a percentage decline from a 99.3 percent passage rate last year to a 97.6 percent rate.

“School boards and their leadership teams put together budgets that were fiscally restrained yet responsive to the needs of their communities,” said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer. “For example, in response to community concerns about school safety, many school boards allocated funding for school resources officers. At the same time, a state aid increase and use of reserve funds helped the vast majority of school boards stay within the property tax cap. Budget increases were conservative but few layoffs or cuts have occurred.”

School districts statewide proposed an average tax levy increase of 2.14 percent, with 662 district budgeting within the legal limit for increasing the amount collected in taxes. Of those districts, 98.6 percent had budgets approved. The tax cap has been in place for the last seven years.

Still, 14 districts had proposed tax levies that sought to bypass cap, seeking a 60 percent majority to override the move. Of those districts, half had budgets approved.