Written by Jill Nossa Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00
The Glen Cove Board of Education adopted the proposed budget of $79,281,428 for 2014-15 at last week’s board meeting. The proposed budget carries a tax levy impact of 1.58 percent, which complies with the NYS tax levy cap law. The budget increase is $2,610,796 over the current year’s budget.
“These are difficult financial times,” said Superintendent Maria Rianna. “We looked carefully at all aspects of our district’s financial status and have presented a budget that is fiscally responsible and insures our children’s educational program is properly supported.
The Board of Education has adopted a budget that stays within the tax levy limit and provides the transparency requested.”
The most significant increase in the district’s expenses comes from the Teachers Retirement System budget line, with a total of $1,483,523; this is a cost that has been rising every year and one that the district has no control over. Other notable areas of increase are almost $800,000 in tax refunds, $1.8 million in the special education program and $515,000 in workmen’s compensation.
Letters have gone out to some staff members alerting them of the possibility of job loss, though nothing is finalized at this point. The board has made a commitment to taxpayers on the tax rate but not specific cuts. Some of the areas they are looking at are staff cuts in teacher’s aides and monitors to save about $740,000 and a reduction of $567,000 in the operation of facilities budget line.
Board President Donna Brady said, “There are areas where we know we have excess...it’s nice to have, but we have to clean it up.”
She said that the board is “still fighting over where cuts should take place -in a healthy way” and want to have an accurate number of retirements and enrollment before cutting any jobs.
“We value the people that work in this district so we’re not making any decisions yet,” Brady said.
The next Board of Education meeting will take place on Monday, May 5 and Meet the Candidates night will be on Monday, May 12, both at 7:30 p.m. at the middle school. There will be a budget hearing on Wednesday, May 7, at the high school, at 7:30 p.m. The budget vote and trustee election will be on Tuesday, May 20.