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Final Workshop Puts Tax Levy at 2.69 Percent

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The Kings Park School District held its final open budget workshop Saturday morning, which outlined an $80,537,086 budget with a tax levy increase of 2.69 percent and a 1.8 percent increase over last year’s budget.

Cuts to the budget included the elimination of 10.5 teaching positions, four due to enrollment decreases and 6.5 due budget cuts.

Non-teaching positions to be cut include the loss of five aides due to decreasing enrollment. Four bus drivers, three whom are retiring, will be eliminated due to the consolidation of bus routes. Other non-teaching reductions lost due to budget cuts include a clerk typist who is retiring and will not be replaced, a mechanic, a maintenance position, two custodians and five aides.

Also included in the draft budget is the start of a phasing out of the French program, which will not be offered in grade seven for the next school year.

District Superintendent, Susan Agruso, said the district is still considering raising the tax levy to the cap of 2.9 percent, which would add an additional $125,000 to the budget.

Still of concern and not yet resolved is the increased class size for grade six. Agruso said she is waiting on updated number on state aid and anticipates the district will receive additional money.

“We are expecting some additional state aid, which would be used to restore a sixth grade teaching position,” said Agruso.

KP LIslander March 30, 2012 at 08:51 PM
If cost cutting was the de rigour, then why can't the BOE feel compelled to focus on cutting any of the higher paying teachers who are under-performing instead of lower paying positions? Just because it is easier to do so? And please don't even insult my intelligence by trying to justify not doing so all because of tenure or unions. After all, where are the unions when, as inferred, they aren't even acting in the best interests of teachers by not agreeing to a contract. Give backs, let's talk about that- There are many taxpayers (who BTW subsidize everyone working in the school system that will have nice pensions) that work in the private industry & don't even have pensions at all, or if they do, have been frozen, or are being frozen & no longer continued to accrue. And please don't try to espouse about lower salaries compared to the private sector as this isn't as true as it used to be. Many teachers, plus of course admins, are getting a decent salary for the # of years experience in the education field compared to the same # of years experience one has in the private sector. I rec'd a bachelors & then Masters & work in the electronics industry for 30 years now & am not even breaking $100K, & pay 20% of health insurance & not getting any raise this year at all (not even COLI) & don't have the kind of pension that teachers & admins are getting. This is not uncommon. Yet @seethroughny dot com, salaries for teachers w/approx 15-17 years are already making over $100K!
KP LIslander March 31, 2012 at 05:21 PM
First off, to be clear-I am not "mad" about teacher's salaries - they should rightfully get salaries that are commensurate with their level of education & years experience. That is NOT what is at issue. It is a matter of when those in the school system try to make a case about give backs w/o regard or consideration for what those that are paying their salaries have already been cutting back & have been enduring, as if it is somehow OK to not factor in such valid & legitimate considerations. As far as salaries themselves go, it is NOT like you being mad at an admin. Poor analogy. I am not "mad" at my manager or his manager. Nor do I begrudge someone who works hard & has achieved a level of success over many years whose position warrants a certain salary level, as long as it is justified (& not excessive like some school admins are) for the responsibilities of that position. By the way, since you wish to focus on comparing salaries, making 68K after only 8 years, with the type of pension that one gets in the school system is NOT unreasonable. It took me approx 20 years to get to that level. And I guess it's just OK to divert attention away from the issue of cost-cutting as it pertains to under-performers & of what the BOE has the ability to do, or what they choose to do or not do, and hold them accountable & instead try to shift the focus to place it onto parents & make generalizations. Talk about garbage - I'm glad you're not teaching in our school district.
KP LIslander March 31, 2012 at 05:26 PM
I'm not going to make broad generalizations about what other parents actually do for/with their kids vs what those that don't but should be doing, nor should teachers think that is OK to do so, but I do know that my spouse & myself, after both of us working 9-10 hr days (to be able to continue to afford to pay the school taxes that we do), DO wind up having to effectively RE-TEACH material on a regular basis which was covered during each day at such a fast pace that the kids can't absorb everything adequately & effectively-all because teachers hands are tied by what is mandated & passed down from state level to schools. And yet there are those in the school system that still somehow choose to mistakenly think that there is nothing wrong with placing unreasonable expectations that parents should be RE-TEACHING, when in fact it is inappropriate to have such expectations to begin with, especially when it's the parents that are working hard to pay the taxes that they do in order to put their kids in supposedly good school systems. Talk about temerity! ASSISTING/AIDING/HELPING one's child for THEM to do their homework is one thing & should & ought to be done, however, having no option but to explain material to such level of detail for the kids to truly absorb & understand it (i.e. re-teaching it) on a nightly basis, is NOT what should be considered the NORM or OK. This just highlights the ineffective methodology that is implemented the attitudes of many in the school system.
KP LIslander March 31, 2012 at 10:17 PM
What happened to Ryan and his comments that I had been replying to?
Elizabeth April 04, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Mechanics jobs should be outsourced. These jobs have zero to do with the district's mission. Educating children.

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