The Seaford Board of Education adopted its contingency budget at a special meeting Wednesday night and were able to avoid cutting further programs and staff.
After voters rejected two proposed spending plans on and ,district officials were tasked with cutting $95,394 to meet the contingency number of $54.8 million. Under a contingency budget Seaford is limited to a 2.26 percent budget increase and has limits on what can be spent.
To reach the contingency budget, $172,113 in expenses for new equipment that was included in the original spending proposal was taken out. The district then restored $37,000 to purchase a new server and printers since it is considered a vital expense to keep the district’s technology infrastructure sound. Another $36,000 was also added for transportation because of cost-of-living increases, according to district officials.
During the June 29 meeting held in the Band Room, Superintendent Brian Conboy emphasized the importance of not cutting any more instructional programs from the budget when deciding how to cut the $95,394.
“I’m not going to endorse any more cuts in the instructional program,” said Conboy. “We’ve already cut it very, very deep.”
Some of the cuts that were previously included prior to Wednesday night included 25 personnel positions, 12 department chair positions, and the winter and spring middle school sports seasons, which now need to see $141,000 fund-raised by the community in order to take place.
Under the 2011-12 contingency budget the average Seaford homeowner will see a $543 increase in their tax bills, $15 less than the district’s revised spending plan that was voted down on June 21.
The tax levy for the contingency budget will rise 8.12 percent compared to 8.43 percent had the district’s revised spending plan been approved last week. The first budget proposal rejected on May 17 called for an 8.99 percent increase to the tax levy, which is the total amount that a district must raise in order to meet expenses.
Despite being on contingency, Seaford is faced with having a higher than usual tax levy this year due in large part to the district losing $1.5 million in state aid and $76,000 in revenue from the Seaford Avenue School where a Nassau County BOCES program ended their lease last year. The district also only has around $600,000 in reserves and could not tap into them without negatively affecting its bond rating with Moody’s Investor Services.
The Seaford Board of Education is next scheduled to meet for its annual reorganization meeting on July 7 starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Seaford High School Band Room.