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School District Predicts Possible $1.2 Mil Shortfall For Next Year

Preliminary budget numbers for 2012 reviewed at Tuesday’s meeting.

District Superintendent Susan Agruso said at Tuesday evening’s board meeting that initial budget projections show the district is looking at a $1.2 million budget gap for next year assuming that there is no change in staffing, programs or revenue.

Agruso stressed the figures are very preliminary and that the numbers would change by February.

“This is just to give you a good feeling as to what we are dealing with,” said Agruso.

Assuming no change in programs, staffing or revenue, the budget increase for the next school year would be about $2.3 million. The current budget is $79,11,079. Next year’s projected budget is $81,451,788, a $2.3 million increase over last due largely to teacher step increases, retirement and health insurance costs.

A two-percent property tax cap put in place by Gov. Andrew Cuomo limits the tax levy put on residents, leaving a $1,148,112 difference between the current year’s budget and the 2012-2013 roll over budget. In order to meet that gap, a 3.93% increase in the tax rate would have to be put in place.

“We aren’t doing that (type of tax increase). We know that isn’t the norm,” said Agruso.  “We have to get it somewhere. Something has to give.”

Budget workshops will begin in February and though the gap is not good news, Agruso says it is better than prior years.

“It’s a little more positive. It’s still difficult, but not the four to five million we have been looking at in the past,” she said.

Kings Park Current Year Roll Over Budget 2% Property Tax Cap 2011-12 2012-2013 2012-2013 Budget $79,11,079 $81,451,788 $80,303,676

Revenue (includes fund

balance, reserves, other)

$19,481,251 $19,481,251 $19,481,251 Tax Levy $59,626,828 $61,970,537 $60,822,425 Assessed Valuation $47,692,416 $47,692,416 $47,692,416 $ Change in Budget $2,340,709 $1,192,597 % Change in Budget 2.96% 1.51% Tax Rate (per $100) $125.03 $129.94 $127.53 $ Change in Tax Rate $4.91 $2.50 % Change in Tax Rate 3.93% 2.00%

* Difference between roll over budget and capped budget- ($1,148,112)

Carol December 08, 2011 at 01:58 AM
Maybe the school superintendent can volunteer to take a large pay cut each year to help close the gap...or maybe the local politicians can. Who polices the spending at the schools anyway? The town residents simply approve of the budget...are there ever any objections? School administrators don't necessarily possess the skills needed to balance a budget, and how do we know that ALL the programs they are asking for are worth funding?
Free 2B Me December 08, 2011 at 02:12 AM
A presuumption that year over year assessed valuations will remain the same is pure insanity. Ask your BOE, what were the reductions in assessed valuation over the past three years. Any belief that these projections are real is asking all to sip the drop dead kool aid.
KpNibbler December 08, 2011 at 07:36 AM
What B.S.!!! Of course they are going to increase taxes...Who cares anymore ...The Kings Park soccer mom drones will vote to OK any increase "for the children" ....I vow to vote NO yet again, but I wonder what percent increase will make the good folk of KP say " hold on a sec.."
Jm December 08, 2011 at 02:54 PM
Let's cut down the overabundance of administrators to start...that's never ever mentioned...the first excuse is always teachers,pensions,health insurance...try looking at some other areas already!
Linda Henninger December 08, 2011 at 04:07 PM
Which administrative positions would you like to see cut? Regarding pensions and health insurance, when and to what extent have they been touched? Or are you saying they shouldn't be examined at all?
Kevin December 08, 2011 at 05:26 PM
Hmm... one has to wonder if this is history repeating itself. Afterall, Ms. Agruso has been dismissed from two previous school supertintendent jobs. Just saying.......
Linda Henninger December 08, 2011 at 06:53 PM
What I see for the last couple of years are good teachers being laid off, programs being cut, classes getting larger – while taxes go up. The KP district and BOE, in my opinion, have done their best to meet the district’s shortfalls, while trying to maintain the highest standards of education for our children. This mission will undoubtedly continue to get harder. The real answer for tax relief and functioning school budgets is in serious statewide action, such as pension reform, Triborough Amendment reform, and school mandate relief. Until then - until statewide elected officials boldly act - districts will continue to be forced to lay off teachers, cut programs and beg unions to change healthcare benefits.
Bern December 09, 2011 at 05:48 PM
Can anyone tell me how many students are currently enrolled in KP Schools? The only number I can find online is from 2008-2009 which is 4,183 students. IF that is correct, then it is costing $19,472.00 per child to attend K-12. That can't be right, can it?
KP Pride for Life December 09, 2011 at 08:17 PM
Keep the BOE! They are overworked elected volunteers! Dump the self appointed CEO! This is the year 2011. Do we really need a Superintendant? It is the same budget every year, just different numbers. Spend half her salary on a qualified financial adviser to assist t BOE and get the budget balanced. Take the other half and divide it among the BOE.
Concerned Citizen January 20, 2012 at 12:59 AM
You people really need to know the facts... Based on the comments I see here you are commenting, but do not have a clue regarding the realities of the situation. I understand the frustration over taxes. But you need to take the time to get involved and learn about all the dynamics at play here and stop taking shots at the easy scapegoats... Frankly, some of these comments really show ignorance. In other words, until you know what you are talking about.... keep quiet.

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