Commack Board of Education adopted the proposed $171M budget for the 2012-13 school year Thursday night, which calls for a tax levy increase of 2.6 percent.
The vote to adopt the proposed budget was unanimous after more than a month of public controversy about where $4.5 million in cuts was coming from.
"I really want to say this from the bottom of my heart, I don't want anyone out there to think we are taking this decision lightly," trustee Peter Wunsch said.
Under the proposed $171 million budget, the school district . There will be 17.24 teacher and staff reductions at the elementary schools, with approximately six positions lost due to student enrollment. There will be an additional 10.1 teaching positions at and 10.53 positions at .
Superintendent Donald James said the district is close to closing a deal with the administrative and secretarial staff members that will prevent layoffs. The district remains at the negotiating table with the teachers' union, but no compromise has been reached.
If the adopted budget is approved, school officials will cut 14 co-curricular clubs at the high school, five co-curricular clubs at the middle school, and cutting back on the number of Intramural hours at the intermediate schools.
School officials are proposing to eliminate the assistant sports coaches for 12 varsity sports teams and four middle school teams. There will be a elimination of non-league contests at Commack High School and cutting the varsity boys and girls swimming teams.
The adopted budget represents at $5,262,856 increase over the 2011-12 school year, or 3.17 percent increase. School officials estimate it will cost the average taxpaying homeowner an additional $250 per year.
As the district's adopted 2.6 percent budget falls under its state-allowed 4.1 percent tax cap, Commack school officials need simple majority approval from voters on May 15.