The Seaford School District’s budget crunching process in an attempt to avoid drastic cuts to programs and staff is progressing, but much work still lies ahead before a final spending proposal is adopted.
Seaford began the budget process facing the task of cutting $2.3 million in order to comply with new tax cap rules. That number has now been reduced to around $1.5 million after the district found some savings and budget adjustments based on actual spending for the current year. However, Seaford Superintendent Brian Conboy said during Thursday night’s school board meeting that without a large restoration of state aid, big reductions will be likely.
“We’re slowly chipping away at our deficit,” said Conboy during Thursday's meeting held at Seaford Manor School. “We have a lot of hard work to do.”
Two areas the district has been exploring for savings but is trying hard to prevent are dropping to eight period days at Seaford High School and Seaford Middle School and reducing to a half-day kindergarten program.
"Only out of a dire necessity would we look to do it," Conboy said.
As part of the Seaford school board’s efforts toward avoiding major educational and extracurricular program cuts, line by line savings have been explored. At Thursday night’s meeting, the district’s Director of Technology Fred Kaden gave a presentation on his needs for next year and identified $107,800 in savings for the budget including postponing projects like making all district buildings wireless until 2014.
Conboy said the State Legislature is scheduled to adopt its 2013/14 budget next week and he is hopeful some high tax and foundation aid will be restored to Seaford. An executive budget proposal released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in January has Seaford losing 6.88 percent in state aid.
When factoring in required payments to the Teacher's Retirement System, Seaford is permitted a 3.56 percent tax levy increase for the 2013/14 school year. If the school board opted to pierce the tax cap, then a 60 percent majority approval would be needed during the May 21 budget vote.
The next budget discussion is scheduled for March 21 with the topics of athletics and programs at the middle school and high school discussed to see where savings can be achieved.
An additional school board meeting devoted to the budget is scheduled for April 4 with April 11 targeted as when a proposed spending plan will be adopted.
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- Cuts to 'High Tax Aid' Hit Local School Districts Hard
- Seaford School Officials Begin Laying Groundwork for 2013/14 Budget
- Seaford PTA Leaders Urge Adding Programs for 2013/14 Budget