Written by Cory Twibell Friday, 17 February 2012 00:00
The Carle Place Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools David Flatley presented the community with the district’s 2012-2013 proposed budget, which calls for an estimated 1.91 percent increase from last year’s budget, on Saturday morning, Feb. 11 in the high school auditorium.
Flatley said the $46,395,620 budget is an increase of $868,795 from the $45,526,824 budget in 2011-2012. The tax levy increase is approximately 1.84 percent, Flatley noted.
Many staff members from the district were in attendance to support the budget, as Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Personnel Christine Finn was applauded when she announced that no teaching positions were eliminated in the 2012-2013 proposed budget.
“The budget that we are proposing has no cuts in programs and services.We are anticipating the possible combination of some administrative positions and some administrative responsibilities to save money,” said Flatley, who noted academic, fine arts and athletic programs are to be “maintained entirely” in the proposed budget.
“This is the very first step in the process. We use the words ‘estimated’ and ‘currently’ because unlike previous years, we cannot be certain about our recommended dollar amounts. Our estimates are based upon what the governor has proposed and we’ll make the assumption for the time being that the governor’s proposal will be the final State budget, and we’ll operate on that estimate,” said Flatley.
In the event of a contingency budget, Flatley explained that the board of education would have to reduce $737,732 from the proposed budget, which would mean eliminating approximately five teachers, summer programs, combining middle school athletics and more.
“We have over the last five years documented somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 million in cuts to our budget, through what appeared to be at the time minor modifications in the way we do business and cutbacks in personnel. But when you add that up, $4 million becomes a very large amount of money,” said Flatley.
Some residents inquired about the district seeking out grants, to which Flatley replied that the district actively pursues grant money but is “not a good target” for grants because the State classifies Carle Place as a “high-wealth, low-need” school district.
Another community member asked about the district’s class sizes compared to the rest of the county and Assistant Superintendent Finn noted that with a total enrollment of 1,424 students in 2011-2012, class sizes at Carle Place are “on par” with other schools except for a slightly larger kindergarten class.
Flatley also said that information from the proposed budget presentation will be available on the district’s website at http://www.cps.k12.ny.us.
“We’re hopeful that, given the work that has been done, that we’re going to come up with a budget that the community can support, as they have for generations,” said Flatley.