Written by Jordan Lauterbach Friday, 06 April 2012 00:00
The North Shore Board of Education officially adopted a proposed budget for the 2012-13 school year on March 29 at North Shore Middle School.
The $90,509,228 budget represents a 1.85 percent increase from the 2011-12 school year. That percentage represents the smallest budget-to-budget increase in two decades, according to fliers made available by the board at the meeting.
The budget falls under New York State’s 2 percent cap on the tax levy. To manage this limit, trustees eliminated $1.45 million during the budget drafting process.
In addition to adopting the budget, the board viewed a presentation given by Superintendent Dr. Edward Melnick, detailing factors that will impact the district during the next decade. Many of the issues discussed in the presentation will be addressed in the district’s 2020 plan, a road map of 10-year goals for the board.
The presentation highlighted the district’s intention is to graduate students who are college and work ready, compassionate, caring, and responsible global citizens, critical thinkers, and creative problem solvers.
Melnick acknowledged that there will be hurdles to achieving these educational goals.
The state’s 2 percent tax levy limit, new tax certiorari challenges, decreased revenue, and increased costs all serve as potential road blocks for the district, the superintendent explained.
But Melnick’s portion on challenges did not come without potential solutions.
Educating the community on the tax levy limit and the possible need for overriding it in coming years will go a long way toward surviving the state mandated cap, according to Melnick.
He said potential legislative solutions for the tax certiorari challenge and sharing services with other districts will also ease financial concerns.
The superintendent also urged the board to continue to support the efforts of the Viking Foundation. The foundation, founded in 1995 and revitalized in 2011, was established by members of the North Shore community for the purpose of raising funds to “maintain and enrich the educational environment” in the district, according to the foundation’s website.
New teacher evaluation systems, namely the APPR regulations, will affect the district during the next decade. Melnick revealed that, in addition to the yearly evaluation completed by the board, he will be enlisting an outside source to complete a secondary evaluation.
Common Core educational standards will also impact the district in the coming years. These standards will put an increased spotlight on reading and critical thinking across all subjects, according to Melnick.
He said that implementation of the Common Core standards will begin in 2012-13, with testing beginning the following school year.
Following the presentation, the board discussed the possibility of installing a lighted message sign in front of one of the district’s schools. The conversation emerged from a resident’s comment during the public portion of the meeting, complaining that board meetings were not clearly publicized to the community.
The proposal of sign was broached about 10 years ago, but failed because of concerns about the structure creating traffic hazards, according to Trustee George Pombar.
The next board of education meeting is scheduled for April 19.