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18 Teacher Cuts Possible for Kings Park Schools

Increasing retirement costs for teachers and administrators, loss of state aid play role in $2.2 million gap.

Teacher cuts and larger class sizes are being considered as Kings Park school administrators struggle to close a $2.2 million dollar budget gap for the 2013-14 school year.

Kings Park District Superintendent Susan Agruso laid out a worst-case scenario of cutting 18 teachers if aid is not restored from the state.

“We’ve cut all the other stuff,” said District Superintendent Susan Agruso referring to the past years budget cuts. “Now we are looking at staff.”

Instructional salaries and benefits make up the largest part of the district's budget at 53 percent of the overall breakdown. The biggest increase in expenses the district is facing is a $1.7 million increase in retirement costs for teachers and administration, which Agruso has said is the “big chunk of why we are in this budget crisis right now.” Agruso said that number increased from what was originally anticipated.

Step increases for teacher salaries also play a role. "This is the second biggest expense, which goes up $1.1 million just for step increases.”

A first look at cuts shows the elimination of eight elementary teaching positions, four of which are due to declining enrollment. At the secondary level, cuts being considered include 1.0 in math, 1.1 in science, 1.0 in social studies, 1.0 ELA, 1.6 in  PE, 1.4 in music and.8 in art and possibly an additional 2.1 positions at the secondary level.

Agruso is hoping that the $600,000 in state aid will be restored. “We were expecting extra money, but what we got so far is less,” she said.

A rollover budget with a 3.5 percent tax levy increase, while still under the mandated tax levy cap, still leaves the district with a $2.2 million gap.

The board of education also weighed the possibility of cutting an advanced placement computer science course, which students and staff came out to support saving.

The board said they would like to see the class remain, but would have to see if aid would be restored in April.

“It’s a function of money,” said board president Marie Goldstein, who favored keeping the class intact. “We have to balance this.”

The next budget workshop will be held on Monday evening at 7:30 at the high school.

Charles Mueller March 11, 2013 at 03:47 AM
Mary W thats just Laughable. The show if cars was for the party next door at the American Legion Hall. Three people who were at the VFW already have said it was a laughable turnout. Oh business owners lol! Doesn't a former BOE member own a business lol or is that a fraud just like the fraudulent "earned" MBA recently taken down. FOIL it. Oh N was this legal. Permits? Gambling? IDK but I guess it's cause for investigation.
Charles Mueller March 11, 2013 at 03:50 AM
KPLIFER! Brilliant! Run for BOE!
Charles Mueller March 11, 2013 at 03:56 AM
Sounds easy but the teachers union prez would never. It could be that the only way for a new contract with a mommy on the board and another BOE who plays it buth ways is for the district to go bankrupt and then all contracts are null n void, there wi be so many great teachers available who will sign on the dotted line of a reasonable contract. Can a BOE person request to abstain from bring at the neg table?
Charles Mueller March 11, 2013 at 11:03 AM
Instead of sticking your head in sand FOIL it. Otherwise you have no idea what u r talking about.
Charles Mueller March 11, 2013 at 11:48 AM
@ Liberty. Ur statement is foolish just like the 30 people there. People are outraged. The invitation only had to go public in a desperate attempt to get more people to go and that didn't work either. People see toght thru. FOIL it and you'll want your money back. And @AnneMarie prob not legal call town and IRS.
Liberty March 11, 2013 at 12:03 PM
Could you possibly have Dissolative Identity Order--Annmarie D and Foil it NYS and tdj
TonyC. March 11, 2013 at 12:19 PM
maybe you should FOIL it first- im guessing you might change your mind on this one.
Charles Mueller March 11, 2013 at 01:12 PM
More laughs from Liberty. TonyC, KPlifer and James should have been included in your list. Hope state aid increases!
mary wellbourne March 11, 2013 at 01:21 PM
Laughing is a symptom of dtssolative Identity disorder.
ChudleyQ March 11, 2013 at 01:59 PM
I don't know Elizabeth Barrett. I've read what's been made public on this situation, and the case against her was thrown out on a technicality. I have no problem with the Board pursuing this against her. If they didn't, they might have been accused of intentionally neglecting investigation. (Maybe they should have hired somebody to do a better job, however) Conducting a fund-raiser for her may be distasteful to some, but it doesn't seem to be against the law. As long as no school district funds were used, and the remaining Board members didn't violate Ethics Codes....then this is the way democracy works. What bothers me is that it paralyzed and divided the Board of Education. How long has Marie Goldstein been involved there? Maybe it's time to seek out new blood for the Board, somebody who can bring a fresh approach and some new ideas. Obviously, what's happened shows that the Board just isn't working right. As for the teachers giving up something....that's not happening. I'd be curious to see that they would say to a 5% salary reduction and suspension of automatic increases, in exchange for no teachers losing their positions. Never gonna happen though.
Charles Mueller March 11, 2013 at 02:29 PM
How can one take contributions and still be in the taxpayers corner? "Mary Wellbourne" you wrote that yourself on another thread. Favors owed now?
Stevo March 11, 2013 at 02:33 PM
KPLifer - last time I checked, it's a free country, and people can post on these boards wherever they live. Who are you, the mayor of KP Patch??
Stevo March 11, 2013 at 02:35 PM
All Superintendents are overpaid!!
KPLifer March 11, 2013 at 03:42 PM
All good questions that should be asked at the meeting tonight. Dont forget to leave the seat open next to the union president for the board members son...
Charles Mueller March 11, 2013 at 05:52 PM
I think there is a budget workshop tonight and all should go.
Dan March 12, 2013 at 12:27 PM
The discussed proposed budget (as of 3/11/2013) ... http://www.kpcsd.org/files/calendar/budget031113.pdf
Keepthefaith March 12, 2013 at 06:56 PM
Let me see if I can get this straight. They are spending $6,000 on wrestling mats and uniforms and another $550,227 on extra curriculars. That is 25 % of the amount you are saying you are in the hole. You have the nerve to blame this on the teachers? The teaching staff makes up 53% of the budget and you want to spend $556,000 on SPORTS! Please do not cry to Cuomo about additional state aid. You just lost ANY credibility! UNREAL!
sally pruslow March 12, 2013 at 07:58 PM
Sally Pruslow Let's set the record straight. This was actually a EVENT. You can't have a fund raiser unless you are a charity or a nonprofit with a tax id number. There was an excellent turn out. Wonderful raffles donated by local business. This event would never have had to be if the BOE didn't bring a frivolous case against another BOE member. The tax payers were very lucky that the BOE was able to have their attorney fees waved because their case was rejected by the commissioner because of problems with filling and other wrongly filed paper work. It has always amazed me that the parents of the "child"(not children) never spoke out, the incident was over a year old and reported by a third party. This event had been planed for months. Annmarie (again why are you not giving your real name) as I have said before if you wish to taken seriously use your real name. I do. We need to move on and let this STOP!!! Why can't you let this go. Mr Young at the BOE budget meeting last night thought it was alright to question Ms. Barrett about her event and asked if any staff attended!!!! When will this stop. There should be as much concern about the cutting of 18 teaching positions, possibility of program cuts and raises again for the administration. Even though the Ms Agrusso claims she had no raise for 11/12 she did get a raise in June of 12. For the size of this school district and budget, her salary is out of line........
sally pruslow March 12, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Sally Pruslow At least they were there. Turn out was poor considering whats on the line for our students and our taxpayers. Your tax dollars are going up,class sizes are going up, programs could be cut, the teachers still have no contract and supt. wants another raise and enrollment is going down.
Rachel March 13, 2013 at 03:39 AM
I'm with you on this one Albert. I was a student at KPCSD. Graduated in 2007. I find it more difficult and overwhelming to learn in a large classroom setting. Dr.Remulak, you're proof is students like me who have some sort of learning disability. I am learning disabled and need the one on one interaction of a small classroom setting. I know people who don't have a disability that find that the size of the room effects how well they learn. Some are comfortable with a large setting while other prefer a smaller. Any education course I have taken have stated that they feel it is better to reach students in a smaller class room setting. You don't need statistics, since they can be inaccurate, to know that. Go around and ask people.
KPLifer March 13, 2013 at 10:51 AM
I am so proud to be in a district that only cares about special education and sports. Time to vote out ALL current board members. Was the board members son shining the union presidents shoes at the meeting?
KP March 13, 2013 at 11:37 AM
Pay-to-play sports and music are viable choices. With the amount of kids that participate in both, even with nominal monies, the school district could be relieved of some of its financial burden. Similar to school lunch, monies can be adjusted for low-income families. However, if the taxpayers are willing to contribute in such a manner, the union should also give back a little as well!
Charles Mueller March 14, 2013 at 03:31 AM
Check our the photo above. You can FOIL it it's easy. There's so much more the NYS commish couldn't rule on because of errors on serving Miss Barrett. She never even fought the charges only hid.
Charles Mueller March 14, 2013 at 11:12 AM
Check out the photo above. You can FOIL the docs too it's easy. The commish should read them too not like last time.
Pam March 14, 2013 at 09:29 PM
So is KPCSD losing 18 teachers or 18 FTE's (full time equivalent), not necessarily 18 teachers. Ask the BoE because the way I read this article it sounds like 18 FTE's. Ask at the next BoE meeting. If you'd like to see 2012 payroll for your district it is available through See Through NY- they FOIL every year. Oh and old pension data is also available on this website. Although a judge recently ruled with NYSUT that NY taxpayers can not see the pensions they are paying for district employees, the pension increases are a direct result of the contracts the BoE's sign.
knee jerk March 18, 2013 at 04:40 AM
Carol Hankin is waiting in the woods if the price is right. She'd jump to Kings Park from Syosset in a heartbeat for "a few dollars more".
knee jerk March 18, 2013 at 04:42 AM
Seniority is just a form of "featherbedding".
knee jerk March 18, 2013 at 05:01 AM
Because school teachers are the cheapest of the cheap. None of them will ever voluntarily take a cut in pay to either do the right thing by the taxpayers or the younger untenured teachers. Just like the cops, if any cuts are to happen it will be only for the new hires, never for those already on the job.This creates friction among the workforce and is probably about as spineless a thing that they could do.Its "I got mine and will continue to get mine, if you want any cuts get em from somebody else".
unknownauthor March 21, 2013 at 12:04 PM
I got very upsetting info about board member Elizabeth Barrett speaking and emailing inappropriate info as a BOE member. I posted pics above. This is going on far too long and the public must know. Financial aid for our taxes could be in jeopardy and federal programs FERPA too. And word there was a fundraiser for her legal defense fund. Outrageous.
unknownauthor March 21, 2013 at 12:36 PM
The pics posted about wrongdoings by Elizabeth Barrett are removed. I guess I'll have my wife go hand them out in the Dans Keyfoord village.

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