Nanuet Schools 2013-14 Budget: $3.5M Budget Gap

Possible items on the table are: depletion of reserve funds, reconfiguration of K-5, increased class sizes and personnel and program cuts


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Last year, the Nanuet School Board faced difficult decisions and had to find about o cut from the 2012-13 budget because of the new 2 percent tax levy cap. This year they projected they’ll need to close a $3.5 million budget gap to get under the cap.

At Tuesday night’s board of education meeting, Superintendent Mark McNeill presented a power point slide to the board of where the district stands. All numbers are estimates because it’s so early in the school year. The power point is also attached to this Patch article.

To sum up, with the projected course of the Nanuet schools under the tax levy cap:

In 2013-14

  • Programs and class sizes will be maintained
  • There may be a grade reconfiguration of K-5 (Miller K-3; Highview 4-5; Barr 6-8)
  • Possible reduction in transportation costs by changing building schedules (Miller and Highview start times would be staggered)
  • Additional cuts
  • Reserves will be used to reduce the levy

In 2014-15

  • Actions will be required
  • Decrease number of teachers
  • Increase class sizes
  • Eliminate programs
  • Reserves will be depleted to reduce the levy

In 2015-16

  • Survival
  • Significant further reduction in staff and elimination of programs
  • No reserves

Nanuet Patch will be going into detail on each of these topics in a series of articles today and the following days.

Looking Back

The power point starts with a recap of the previous year and the current school year.

“What we can say for the 11-12 school year is that all programs were reserved and class sizes were pretty much the same,” said McNeill. “What we did for the current budget, we did the same thing. All we had in mind was that we wanted to reserve our instructional programs and we don’t want to tamper with the class sizes.”

New legislation dictates that all New York schools cannot increase its tax levy more than 2 percent from the previous year’s levy.

“Instead of Pfizer governing us, this past year, is the first year we’re under the new state legislation called the tax levy limit,” said McNeill. “It hovers around 2 percent.”

In an  the Nanuet schools talks about the cap and addressed a common public misunderstanding about the 2 percent cap.

“We don’t want to cut any programs. Nanuet is a high quality school district. We know we have the programs that work, we have programs that go over and above what school districts are required to have and we have the class sizes that reinforce this kind of achievement.”

In 2011-12 Budget

  • The district
  • Decreased transportation expenses
  • Decreased 10.3 staff positions
  • Teachers and administrators received a 0 percent salary increase
  • Applied reserves to reduce the levy
  • Budget = -.02%
  • Tax Levy = -.74%

In the 2012-13 Budget

  • Eliminated 2.5 FTE (teachers) through change in Middle School schedule.
  • Eliminated 2 library clerk positions—“They were retiring”
  • Decreased security costs
  • Eliminated $681,000 of debt service/technology bond—
  • Applied reserves to reduce levy
  • Budget = +1.6%
  • Tax Levy = +0.64%

“The only way to come in under the levy limit was take out of the bank account (reserves) and make these cuts. The levy was .64 instead of 2 percent because … we got penalized by the levy limit formula for retiring debt,” said McNeill.

Phil Sions, assistant superintendent for business, added that the district budgeted in retiring the debt before the formula came out so they didn’t know that they would have been penalized for being fiscally responsible.

The district is making the assumption that since it’s not retiring debt this year, they will come in around 2 percent, like the other school districts.

Check back with Nanuet Patch later today and tomorrow for more on the meeting’s discussions on reserves, reconfiguration and possible future changes in staff, programs and class sizes. 

Clarkstown life October 11, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Mary.....it's ramapo NOT clarkstown
Kim Tran October 12, 2012 at 04:18 PM
I've posted the last article of this series that covered Tuesday's school board meeting http://nanuet.patch.com/articles/future-nanuet-school-budget-going-to-be-survival
Arthur Winoker October 26, 2012 at 01:41 PM
What happened at the 10/23/12 BOE meeting re the fiscal issues?
Scott Walters October 26, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Those 'music lessons' you refer to are the small group 'pull out' lessons based on instrument and level of playing. PE and History are a regular classroom setting. As a musician and music teacher, it is impossible to try and teach five or six instruments at one time to various levels of ability versus playing an organized sport in PE or listening to a discussion on history. PM me with any further questions.
Observer November 12, 2012 at 01:30 AM
next BOE meeting is Nov. 20 @ 7:30p in HS library. http://www.nanuetsd.org/calendars/District-Calendar/month


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