The North Bellmore Board of Education recently adopted the district’s 2014-15 budget, which business officials said was adjusted from the original draft in order to meet a $2.18 million revenue shortfall.
The board approved the $52.3 million spending plan at its April 10 meeting. Although the budget has been slimmed down by $200,000 since administrators presented a preliminary version to the community at workshops in late March, the reductions, they said, would have no effect on student services. The tax levy and savings appropriations were also revised.
Mark Schissler, the district’s assistant superintendent for business, explained that the reductions in spending were in the facilities ($50,000), instructional supplies, technology supplies and equipment ($50,000) and capital projects ($100,000) areas of the budget.
He said that officials were able to trim the most from capital projects because they have completed asbestos abatement projects in every district building.
In addition to those reductions, Schissler said that state officials also helped close the gap, as the North Bellmore district received $240,000 more in state aid with the passage of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2014-15 budget.
“I had hoped that we could get close to $300,000 more when the Legislature and the governor compromised on the budget,” he said. “As it turns out, we did receive some additional aid.”
Despite the additional aid and the reduction in spending, however, North Bellmore officials still had to find a way to close a $1.74 million gap. At the budget workshops, Schissler noted that five sections of the budget saw six-figure increases in spending: the teachers’ retirement system ($585,000), contractual salary obligations ($560,000), health insurance ($255,000), tuition for special-education students in private schools ($225,000) and contractual special-education services ($230,000).