The proposed 2014-2015 Seaford school budget has a $1,549,295 gap, explained Brian Conboy, Superintendent of Seaford Schools at the March 13 school board meeting at Manor School. The proposed budget for 2014-2015 school year is for $62,899,593, which represents a budget-to-budget increase of $2,462,259.
“We have a 1.5 percent tax cap and a very modest proposed increase in state aid,” said Conboy. Together the district projects additional revenue from taxes and state aid of $912,964, no where near the additional $2,462,259 increase it is proposing for the 2014-2015 school year.
“We will continue to review the proposed budget line-by-line to see where it can be cut without cutting programs for our students,” said Conboy.
The district is proposing an increase of $1,383,208 to the program component of the budget including costs of $992,979 for general education (salaries, teaching materials and supplies); $281,815 for special education (salaries and supplies) and $48,677 for occupational education (salaries and supplies).
There is a proposed increase of $25,217 for student support services and an increase of $20,124 for guidance services. There is no change in the budget for co-curricular activities.
Residents Stacy Stark, Roberta Grogan, Kim Sharelli and Maureen Meeley questioned the board’s decision to pass a $40,000 contract with Andrews Technology for time clocks. “We have a [budget] gap and you are spending $40,000 on time clocks? That’s where you start? Technology is always knocked down. Why not smart boards for our children?” asked Stark.
Board President Brian Fagan said the board is trying to look at efficiencies that “will go back to the kids.”
Roberta Grogan asked for a cost benefit analysis for this item and Kim Sharelli urged the board to “think about class size. There are 28 students in a class and one extra teacher, one extra salary would make such a difference in class size.”
Melissa Keene added that the board “needs to give us something to grab on to. Taxes are up and things are cut. Give us something other than timeclocks,” she said.
The board voted three in favor of approving the timeclock contract; Susan Ruowna and Jeannette Wink abstained from the vote.
In closing, board member Richard DiBlasio reminded residents of how the board is “doing its due diligence. Seventy seven cents on the [tax] dollar goes up state,” he said.
Conboy urged residents to contact legislators to provide more state aid to Seaford school district.