A discussion of the failed budget is on the agenda for Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting, which will be held at at 8 p.m. A public participation period is set for both the beginning and end of the meeting.
Following last Tuesday's vote in which the Three Village Central School District of community support for its proposed $178.6 million budget, school officials have said $1.9 million will have to be cut from the budget to bring it down to the level of the tax cap.
RELATED: View the originally proposed budget in PDF format attached to this article.
Three Village's cap is 2.99 percent, rather than 2 percent, because of a state formula that takes into account school districts' loss in state aid and other factors too.
"I think the idea is to present a budget that’s within the cap for a second vote," school board president John Diviney said in a recent interview. "We need to cut a couple of million dollars to get under this cap, and we’ll do that. The focus of Tuesday will be where those cuts are going to come from."
The administration has prepared multiple options for budget cuts along with the cost savings which would be realized by implementing them.
Among those options are big ticket items like half-day kindergarten, which would save the district about $650,000; elimination of junior high athletics, which would save about $350,000, and switching to an eight-period day at the high school, for which the savings would depend on the number of staff cuts.
For those residents concerned that the district is "crying wolf" by discussing those possible reductions year after year and then not having to make them, one school administrator said doing the opposite would be doing the community a disservice.
"We never want to do the other way around," said Jeff Carlson, assistant superintendent for business services. "We don’t want to say 'Oh by the way, we’re going cut something without having discussed it previously.'"
The last time Three Village failed a budget vote was in May of 2005, the same year former superintendent John Sonedecker was sentenced following charges of grand larceny after it was discovered he used a district credit card for numerous personal expenses. Diviney described the 2005-2006 budget season as "a whole other world," citing dramatic increases in enrollment that had put a lot of pressure on the district's finances. Voters initally rejected the $139.3 million budget, which would have raised the tax levy 9.84 percent, and later approved a $135.6 million 2005-2006 budget that raised the tax levy by 6.9 percent.
The board may schedule an additional meeting for May 29 for more discussion, Diviney said.
The second budget vote would take place on June 19.