The Commack Board of Education has adopted a $166,081,826 budget for the 2011-2012 school year that cuts administration and custodial staff instead of sports, clubs or teaching positions.
The budget now goes to a public vote on May 17.
The final proposed budget reflects a budget-to-budget increase of 3.33 percent from the current year. The resulting tax levy is 2.96 percent.
Despite an 8.94 percent budget-to-budget loss in state operating aid and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, the district did not cut teachers or increase class size. Instead, the staff reductions occurred on the administrative and custodial levels, with two assistant superintendents and several custodians and maintenance workers eliminated, for a savings of $769,000. Further reductions of four chairperson positions and one clerical worker saved $140,000 and $93,250 respectively.
"It comes at a cost, we're forced to maintain our integrity with fewer staff," said Commack School District Superintendent Donald James.
To absorb some of the workload in the administrative office, the district plans to add a district office administrative assistant, increasing staff costs by $160,000.
The budget also includes a one-year reinstatement of several intramural sports and co-curricular clubs on the middle and high school levels, at a cost of $200,000.
"Although these reinstatements are only for a year, we figured that one year in the life of a child is a long time, so it was worth it," said James, who added that the programs would be cut in the event of a failed budget or mandated tax cap.
The district will also embarck on a 4-year lease purchase agreement for new computers through BOCES, adding $195,954 to the 2011-2012 budget.
In terms of revenue, Commack schools received a net gain of $4,430,000. An increase in state building aid garnered $3.7 million for the district. Tuition paid by families outside of the district for their children to attend specialized programs within Commack totaled $130,000. The district also received a of $601,408 from Long Island Power Authority, in response to the over the summer.
Staff Reduction Summary:Reduction Savings 2 Assistant Superintendents $479,000 Custodians $290,000 4 Chairpersons
$140,000 1 Clerical $93,250
Restorations and Additions Summary:Restoration/Addition Cost 1 Year—Intramural Sports & Clubs $200,000 Technology Lease $195,000 District Office Administrative Assistant $160,000
Monetary Gains Summary:Source Amount State Aid Recovered $1,300,000 Building Aid Increase $3,700,000 Tuition Program $130,000 LIPA Rebate $601,408
Future Meetings and the Budget Vote
The next Board of Education meeting and formal budget hearing will take place May 5 at 8 p.m. at Residents will vote on the budget on Tuesday, May 17.
Patch is looking for community input on the budget and upcoming school board elections, to be . Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.