Trustees say current programs should stay in place; staff will need to be cut.
The Kings Park Board of Education continues to grapple with trying to close an approximately $2 million budget gap and on Tuesday evening said there is no easy solution.
The second draft budget, which was presented at the Tuesday meeting, shows a budget-to-budget increase of 4.19 percent, and a projected shortfall of $2,056,151, with a tax levy of 3.5 percent.
Eighteen teachers are expected to be excised if aid lost from the state is not recovered.
Kings Park resident, Dennis Young asked each board member what their solution was to close the budget gap. All agreed there was no easy solution and that class sizes would have to increase.
“We are looking at everything,” said board Vice President Liz Barrett. “We don’t have a definite answer right now. We are going through it line by line.”
Much of the budget is already set, said trustee Charlie Leo, with more than half attributed to salary, benefits and retirement.
“We are going to have to raise class sizes,” said Leo.
Trustee Tom Locascio said staff would have to be laid off.
“We are waiting for a few of the pieces to drop to get clarity and we are waiting on state aid,” said Locascio.
Updated state aid numbers are expected in April.
Negotiations with the Kings Park Classroom Teachers Association are ongoing and have reached super conciliation where another neutral party is chosen as negotiator. Both sides met last Wednesday evening.
An agreement has not yet been met, but board president Marie Goldstein said progress was being made.
“We are in negotiations,” said Marie Goldstein. “We have wonderful teachers. We are making progress and we are hopeful.”
The next and final budget workshop will be held Saturday, April 6. Adoption of the budget will be at the April 16 board of education meeting.
Click here for the most recent draft of the 2013-14 Kings Park school budget
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