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Manhasset Schools Update: March 28, 2012

Manhasset School District 2012-13 Superintendent’s Preliminary 1.73 Percent Budget Increase Within Allowable Tax Levy Limit

Highlights of the superintendent’s preliminary budget, as presented to the board of education of March 10, are as follows:

• The preliminary 1.73 percent budget-to-budget increase enables the district to meet the academic and co-curricular needs of all students K-12 and keeps the proposed tax levy within the allowable tax levy cap.

• The budget allows for the current program in the 4 A’s– academics, activities in extracurriculars, arts, and athletics–to be maintained in the 2012-13 school year.

• The 1.73 percent budget increase does provide appropriate staffing to maintain core subject class sizes at the secondary school.  Secondary school enrollment is projected to grow by over 70 students next year; growth is expected to continue for 5 more years.

• Employee benefits account for 69 percent of the 1.73 percent increase.

• The district’s recent two-year agreement with its teachers’ union generated savings for the district, enabling this preliminary budget to continue all current programs for students within the allowable tax levy limit.

• The district would be able to contribute $2.7 million from current financial reserves to the revenue side of the preliminary budget, helping to fund the employee retirement obligation (ERS), the worker’s compensation obligation and providing some offset to the tax levy.  In future years, the district’s ability to fund and utilize reserves as a budget management tool will be severely restricted within the limitations of the tax levy cap.

• The district has continued to demonstrate strong fiscal management– with a 2.02 percent average budget increase over the last four years (including this preliminary budget) while the average annual tax levy has increased 1.69 percent.

• The budget reflects that the superintendent’s salary is in the fourth consecutive year of a freeze.

Important board of education meeting dates regarding the school budget:

• Thursday, March 29– informal budget hearing, 8 p.m., Munsey Park School

• Tuesday, April 17 – adoption of the 2012-13 Manhasset School District budget, 8 p.m., Manhasset High School

• Thursday, May 3 – official school budget hearing, 8 p.m., Manhasset High School

The 2012-13 school budget vote and election of board members is:  Tuesday, May 15, in the Manhasset High School gymnasium, 6:30 a.m.–10 p.m.  Details on the preliminary budget and the agreement with the teachers’ union can be found on the district’s website at www.manhasset.k12.ny.us.