Jul 26, 2014
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Shea Will Offer Budget to Fit Tax Cap

Layoffs, program cuts are expected in South Huntington schools.

Shea Will Offer Budget to Fit Tax Cap Shea Will Offer Budget to Fit Tax Cap Shea Will Offer Budget to Fit Tax Cap Shea Will Offer Budget to Fit Tax Cap Shea Will Offer Budget to Fit Tax Cap Shea Will Offer Budget to Fit Tax Cap Shea Will Offer Budget to Fit Tax Cap

superintendent Thomas Shea expects to present a budget proposal to the board that won't exceed the state tax cap.

"My recommendation will be cuts that get us to the tax cap number," She said in an interview Thursday. "I'll be setting priorities in the next few days." That proposal includes a tax levy increase of 4.22 percent, which he said was "etched in granite" and includes costs associated with a bond approved by voters in 2003.

The school board is scheduled to vote on Shea's proposals at its April 4 meeting, followed by a public hearing May 8 and a vote by residents on May 15.

The state tax cap, which is often described as a 2 percent cap on the levy, has several exceptions built in. The levy is amount of funding a school district needs to raise through property taxes to balance its budget.

Voters in a district could vote to exceed the limit but passage requires a 60 percent supermajority to do so.

A budget that exceeds the limit would be accompanied by this language on the ballot:

"Adoption of this budget requires a tax levy increase of ____which exceeds the statutory tax levy increase limit of ___for this school fiscal year ad therefore exceeds the state tax cap and must be approved by sixty percent of the qualified voters present and voting."

The district is considering proposals entailing more than $5 million in cuts; the district must find $3.7 million in cuts to meet budgetary limits.

Among the ideas under consideration are drastically different bus schedules, half-day kindergarten and these layoffs:

     Proposed Reductions

Elementary teaching staff 11 Secondary teaching staff   9.2 Paraprofessional 10 Custodial/grounds and maintenance 12 Clerical 13.5Total55.7

If the half-day kindergarten program is implemented, another 21 teaching positions would be converted to part-time jobs. Shea estimates a saviings of more than $1.1 million by cutting kindergarten hours.

Clerical staff positions would be lost at the district office (6.5), Whitman (4), Stimson (2) and Silas Wood (1).

Other Reductions Under Consideration

Middle school sports $124,156 Jayvee sports $116,614 Varsity sports $533,893 No new equipment (except IT) $17,400 Extracurricular activities $275,000

Under the new cap law, a district can present a budget a second time if it is rejected the first time. If it fails a second time, a contingent budget is imposed.

Contingent Budget

Working 2012-2013 budget $146,744,492 2011-12 tax levy $100,401,290 Other Revenues $35,154,716 Total contingent budget $135,556,006

Required contingency reductions*

 

$11,188,486

 

*Required cuts to reach $11,188,486 in contingent budget

Equipment  $180,799 Community use of facilities and grounds:  $150,000 Administrative cap*  $312,519Additional cuts required to reach total
 $10,545,168

*(District office, building administration, public information, liability insurance, BOCES)

The school board meets again Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at

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