Board of Ed Adopts School Budget

Residents will vote to approve or reject on May 15.

Kings Park residents will vote on May 15 whether or not to approve the $80,832,817 budget that was unanimously adopted by the Board of Education Tuesday evening.

The 2012-13 budget is a 2.18 percent increase over the current budget with a tax levy increase of 2.49 percent, which superintendent Susan Agruso, said would result in an anticipated tax rate increase of 2.49 percent as well.

The district received good news this week in the form of a state aid increase of $410,955. That money was used to restore 3.8 teaching positions, including one in grade six and two in grade five. Additionally, the district was able to restore a clerk typist position.

Cuts due to the budget include 4.7 teaching positions, and several non-teaching positions including a mechanic, two custodians, five aides, and one maintenance position.

The consolidation of bus routes will result in the loss of four bus drivers, three of who are retiring.

Kings Park residents can, on average expect to see about a $186.17 increase for the year or about $15.51 monthly.

If the budget does not pass the board has the opportunity to present the same budget again or make changes to the proposed budget and put it out again for a public vote. If the budget were voted down again, a contingent budget would be put into place.

According to Phil Kenter, assistant superintendent for finance, if a contingent budget must be adopted for the next year, that budget must result in a tax levy no greater than the tax levy this year, which means a zero percent increase in the levy.

To see a PDF of the entire budget, visit the photo gallery of this story.

Joann April 04, 2012 at 09:25 PM
the only people who are getting hurt are the children.....Why must taxes be raised why not take a pay reduction Mr & Mrs BIG SHOT are you all really worth this at the expensive of our future I really don't think so
KP Student April 04, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Are you talking about an admin. pay cut or teachers/non teachers?
Tom Scalli April 04, 2012 at 10:12 PM
It is a shame that it is always the lower paid workers getting the boot. Why not have some of you higher ups not take a pay raise or give some back. These people you tend to get rid of have families, and homes to take care of. Is it true you are going to hire someone at $80,000 . Come on wake up and smell the coffee. The working class people here are always getting the short end of the stick. The mechanic you are going to get rid of is the one who has opened his mouth at Board meetings.Is that how you keep workers quiet you fire them. You do not have a heart at all and if you do it is made of stone.You are ruining this hamlet of Kings Park, by trying to get rid of the hard working people and families who probably will lose their homes. And you want to privatise every work position, like giving away some of the bus routes to other companies. Why did you leave the other School Districts ? was it because you ruined so many lives and families.I moved here because of how nice and family orientated it was, WAS , now it seems like you all do not like how Kings Park was, all for one and one for all.People here do care and work hard for thier money,and do want a good education, but seems like you only want to make your lively hood better while makeing others worse. Tom Scalli The school board members should be ashamed of themselves and tar and feathered with the Superintendent for just working for themselves and not the people who really want to try to live here.
KP Mom April 04, 2012 at 10:39 PM
I am not sure if you attended the budget workshops or not but the $80,000. position is not in the final budget. The workshops were informative and the BOE heard the community. Phone calls were made, emails sent and the BOE responded. Concerns were addressed and changes were made throughout the workshops. Class sizes were brought down and some positions restored. Unfortunately we will still lose some positions. The economy is terrible and the state is mandating programs for districts without providing funding. I did not hear any discussion of giving away bus routes to other companies. There is a discussion of consolidating routes. It will be discussesd at future BOE meetings. The public can have input if they attend the meetings.
diane tabone April 05, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Good comments Tom S.
Anne April 05, 2012 at 12:18 PM
"186.17 increase for the year or about $15.51 monthly." per houshold...............well some of us don't have it....so why not cut your salary Miss Superintendent and save the less fortunate the headache?
Tom Scalli April 05, 2012 at 02:16 PM
KP Mom. Thank you for the insight, some of us can not make meetings or workshops because of our job. If they want to help the residents maybe everyone should get a pay freeze and contribute into their Insurance. this will save a lot of money, and everyone should stop being greedy. We are in a bad economy for everyone but the saying is" start at the top". And as for school busing they already are subcontracting jobs out in small buses, why hasnt that been brought up at meetings.seems like Dr. Agrusso likes to subcontract. As her record stands at the other districts she had worked for, and what happened there, ask her. If they do bring in subcrontractors to the schools are they illegals.The workers you have here now really do care about Kings Park, look at the grounds, and even the bus drivers care. They all live here and care about our children and the community they live in.And as for the teachers they are great, we should try to keep them all and not get rid of any of them. there is a way just ask everyone to pitch in and help out with out raises our taxes.
KP Mom April 05, 2012 at 02:55 PM
I am not in favor of contracting our buses. Neither are the parents I have spoken with about this. Our bus drivers are wonderful people who truly care about our children. I put three children on buses every day and I want familiar faces who know my childrens names picking them up and dropping them off. I am carefully watching this process and will fight against contract busing. I do suggest that if you cannot attend the meetings and have questions to email or call your board members. Their contact info is on the KPCSD website.
KingsParkKid April 05, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Agruso may have taken a pay freeze but she also gave her self an extra week vacation? True or False? Why cut a mechanic, custodian or aide? What does Agursos SECRETARY make? $90,000???? Why not cut her and her benefits? We could fill that position for less than half the cost. Any employee that works for the district should pay something into their health insurance. That would save a bundle. As for going to the meetings. It is a waste of time. I have lost money taking off work to attend meetings and the BOE does not listen, they do what they want. period. end of story. We need fresh blood in there and I urge someone in the community to please run!!!
fedup April 05, 2012 at 05:51 PM
John from Kings Park April 05, 2012 at 06:07 PM
How ironic that the only person here who wants to vote "No" to the school budget has the most horrible grammar in the entire forum...
John from Kings Park April 05, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Property values being your key concern, I'm sure...
KingsParkKid April 05, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Not very nice John from KP. and you wonder why people don't voice their opinion. Here is the problem. Most of you do not know where to draw the line with friendship, politics and business. Some of you have something to gain by acting like puppets to Agruso and the BOE. If put yourself outside the box and examine the facts you would see that some of what is going on is NOT in the best interest of our children or the taxpayers.
John from Kings Park April 05, 2012 at 07:13 PM
What did I say that's not nice?
John from Kings Park April 05, 2012 at 09:24 PM
I honestly wasn't being sarcastic here. I'm simply stating that you, as a real estate agent, hold property values very high on your list of priorities. It's your bread-and-butter, after all. Looking at it now, I can see how my post can be mis-construed as me calling you selfish. But that's not the case here, I was simply looking at it from a business point of view. Nobody wants to see their property values drop & I'm sure with this being your livelyhood, you have to be a little more concerned with that matter than most others...
Daniel Tobias April 06, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Tricia, you seem to understand why they want to contract out the out of district(small) buses, but do you understand who is in some of those small buses? There are children, some of them in grammar school, with diabilities in those buses. So your for sending the handicap children out of district with strangers instead of with the friendly faces that our children are expecting every morning. The most vulnerable children should suffer the budget cuts before the mentally and physically healthy children. That's gonna be a hard one to sell to me and it should be to you as well. Our special needs children go out of district because it saves money for the district and they get the education and care that can't be provided within that unkown radius.
Pam April 06, 2012 at 12:11 PM
The district is required to hand in to the NYSED no later than 4/21 their 2012/13 Property Tax Report Card. This document requires the district to show how much $ is in the various Fund Balances. How much money is KP estimating they will have in their Adjusted Unrestricted Fund Balance (this is the money from the 2011/12 budget that they did not use-padding). Legally they can keep up to 4% as their piggy bank, but should they during these very difficult economic times?
KPLifer April 06, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Pam, It is a very prudent and smart idea to keep at least 4% in the bank. This BOE and Superintendent are amongst the best and brightest around. And.....times are not so bad - have you seen all the mercedes and maseratis driving around town? Trish - - please run for school board! "I heard" that only union plantees are running!
Dan Warne April 06, 2012 at 01:04 PM
I just cant bring myself to vote yes until there is a resolution of the teachers contract. You want us to vote yes without a true budget number, because if there is a contract after the budget it just gets added onto the budget without voter input. Its time to put pressure on the teachers union to come to its senses about the economy as it impacts the taxpayers. Currently the school has135 employees making $100,000 or more, it would seem prudent for them to take a freeze for a year in order to retain the lower end teachers, bus drivers, mechanics, who are going to be laid off. I would be willing to risk the "mess" to get salaries under control.
Dan Warne April 06, 2012 at 01:13 PM
I havent seen the mercedes or maseratis running around, but I do agree that a union controled board would be a death knell for the town. Trish, I believe would make a good candidate, since she is very informed about the issues, and puts kids first, not union first.
Ann April 06, 2012 at 02:18 PM
The latter part of your comment is totally inappropriate!!!. Our BOE, is one that we should all be proud of. They listen to the community (remember the cell tower from just a few weeks ago?!), and do their best in running a school district in these economic times. It's rough on everyone, including Dr. Agruso.
Gregg April 07, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Unions are the backbone of America. Whether you're a plumber, electrician, cop, or teacher you know that WE are union. Kings park is a blue collar town - that's why I love it. So let's not kill the teachers. Believe me, their not living large. They're just trying to support their own families and pay their own taxes.
Cut Government In Half April 07, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Small Businesses are the backbone of America. Not Unions. You might want to look who creates the jobs in this country.
Daniel Tobias April 07, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Tricia, In the two years of transporting my special needs child via Huntington Buses we went thru 4 permanent drivers and matrons and I don't know how many temps of each when they called in sick. Because you know them as reputable state licensed businesses, and they very well may be, doesnt make me feel any safer sending the school children of Kings Park with them especially the children with special needs. I feel academic's and the safe tranportation to and from that teaching institution should be the priority of the school district. I don't see transportation being any safer if it's contracted out, not even for the out of district buses and safety costs money. Don't put a price on any of our childrens safety!
Daniel Tobias April 10, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Tricia, It is apparent to me that you do not have a problem with contracting out our children's transportation because you believe it is as safe for the children as our current privately run system. I, on the other hand, don't think it's as safe. As you know, most of the school districts transportation employees are K.P. residents who have a vested interest in our community and our childrens safety(priceless). The number of K.P. residents that work for Huntington or Roy Davis is a small fraction of their staff. My last comment is aimed at anyone that thinks contracted bus companies are safer, not as safe but safer. Huntington, Roy Davis, or any other bus companies priority is making money from the transportation of our children. The school district's priority is the safe transportation of the children. Would you at least agree that safety, at any price, is paramount and that if contract buses are just as safe as our own, you would rather keep Kings Park residents off the unemployment lines?
Daniel Tobias April 12, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Tricia, I need you to clarify something for me. You just stated that " some children, for a host of reasons, do need transportation out of district, and must be transported by contract buses. It's a necessity". Why MUST they be transported by contract buses? Why MUST we take our special needs children out of K.P. buses, which are transporting them now, and put them into contract buses? It's been working so far so why change, other than for financial reasons?
Denise April 16, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Lot of opinions.........Children first its that's simple.....don't need to hear all the other nonsence....


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