Blind Brook schools chief William Stark tonight outlined a $40 million draft budget for the 2012-13 school year that stays within the statewide tax cap and avoids any major cuts. The plan raises the tax levy by 1.71 percent and marks a 1.23 percent increase over the current year’s budget. It would not require an override of the 2 percent state tax cap (which would require a 60 percent majority vote by the public on May 15). But any additions in expenses, without equivalent cuts, would change that equation.
With only 6 percent of revenue coming from state aid, the district is shielded from some of the impacts that other districts are facing this year. Health and retirement benefits costs are not rising as high as anticipated, easing the need for cuts that had been explored earlier, administrators said. (Earlier projections would have cost the equivalent of about eight full-time positions.) Under the plan going before the school board for review, class sizes and staff levels would stay about the same.
Among the changes:
Three full-time positions would be cut: An elementary school teacher, due to declining enrollment in the lower grades; one of two foreign-language instructors at the elementary level, reducing the frequency of those classes; and one school psychologist, whose responsibilities for students with disabilities in a category known as “Section 504” would be transferred to the guidance department.
Added positions include a one special education teacher, one middle school teacher and two high school teachers.
The budget presentation and documents will be posted tomorrow on the Blind Brook website.