March 8, 2013 | 527 views
Lynbrook budget sees little change
With school districts across New York knee-deep in the second year of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax cap legislation, many administrators and school board members are discussing drastic cuts or measures in order to stay within the cap.
In Lynbrook, school officials and board members are discussing adding staffing positions, reducing debt and installing new athletic facilities. The district’s spending plan has been unveiled during three budget work sessions in February and March, each with its own focus.
The district has a maximum allowable tax levy — the amount that districts can raise revenue through property taxes — of 1.52 percent, according to Dr. Melissa Burak, interim superintendent.
The proposed spending plan features a budget-to-budget increase of 2.32 percent from the 2012-13 plan. The largest increase is the district’s benefit costs, which are proposed to increase about $1.7 million. Mounting pension and healthcare expenses are cited as the reason for the increase, which brings the proposed total to about $19 million in benefit costs.
During the Feb. 20 budget work session, Jonathon Klomp, administrator for personnel and student support services, outlined the instructional programs that are featured in the proposed budget. The 4.8 additional staff positions represent one additional teacher at West End Elementary School and additional support staff needed to facilitate the district’s efforts to bring special education students back into the district from outside programs when appropriate.
The district would see a 55 percent reduction in debt service next year under the proposed budget due to the retirement of the principal and interest on its one remaining bond at the end of the 2013-14 school year. The bond’s final payment, in 2013-14 represents a savings of more than $700,000.