A first look at the 2013-14 budget has the Kings Park School District anticipating a $1.4 million shortfall to operate without any changes in programming or staffing from 2012.
A $3.8 million budget increase is expected according to information presented at the Dec. 18 board of education meeting. Major areas of increase include $18 million in teacher and administrator retirement costs and just over $1 million in teacher step increases.
The Kings Park Classroom Teachers Association has been working under an expired contract since June of 2011.
School officials are predicting $2.3 million in additional revenue including $153,000 more in rental income and $400,000 in state aid. A three-percent tax levy is projected bringing in revenue of $1.83 million.
“Over the next six weeks we will present to the board program changes, staffing and other needs in the district to see what they think and what they would like to have included in the first budget presentation,” said Susan Agruso, superintendent for the district.
Agruso hopes that by starting the conversation early and getting public input now, the first budget presentation will give a clearer picture of what needs to be included for the 2013-14 budget.
Fund balances will also be tapped, removing $2.1 million from the reserves, leaving just under $10 million in reserve, which according to Agruso is the biggest challenge they face.
“We are trying to reduce our reliance on reserves because we are going to run out,” said Agruso. “For us, we have decided to have these up front conversations sooner. The first budget will be a little bit more reflective of a months worth of conversations and a lot of public input.”