The Three Village Board of Education on Tuesday examined each line item in the proposed 2012-2013 school budget, suggesting additional cuts and making recommendations for the preservation of programs and staffing positions.
As a result, the trustees found ways to restore some teaching positions at the elementary level along with programs including at both the junior high and high school levels; the program at Ward Melville High School; the Focus and PM school programs; and the theater arts program at the junior high level.
To offset the cost of some of those additions, trustee Irene Gische recommended slashing $100,000 from the maintenance and operation of plant facilities budget lines. Trustee Deanna Bavlnka recommended reducing the cost of postage and printing of district materials, suggesting the district make a bigger push to use email for communication. Trustee Inger Germano recommended reducing the amount of money the district spends on new library materials in each of the eight schools.
The debate took into account funds the district recovered from the state following the slashing of more then $800,000 from the its initial state aid projection.
According to Jeff Carlson, assistant superintendent for business services, the proposed budget would amount to an appropriation of $178,638,110, which represents a 2.3 percent year-over-year increase in spending from the 2011-2012 school budget. It would carry a tax levy increase of 4.504 percent – the same amount which the district had been deliberating over the past several week – which will need the approval of 60 percent of voters, rather than a simple majority, come May 15.
RELATED: View the school district's budget documents here.
"I think we’re at the spot now where we can go forward," interim superintendent Neil Lederer said.
However, this version of the proposed budget is not the final word. The school board could either vote to adopt this version of the proposed budget or make additional changes before adopting it at its next meeting on April 17.
The process lacked input from board president John Diviney and vice president Jonathan Kornreich, both of whom were not in attendance, but whom the trustees expect will weigh in with their opinions at the next meeting.