On Thursday, May 23, the board of education, members of the community, and district administrative staff met to review options in light of the defeat of the proposed 2002-03 budget by the community. We are writing to you directly in order to let you know, as quickly as possible, what we have decided to do and why.
First, we have decided to submit a revised budget for a revote on Thursday, June 20. This will give the community several weeks to review and discuss the revised budget before the revote. It also brings the matter to closure before the end of the school year.
Second, the public hearing on the revised budget will be held on Thursday, June 6. The hearing will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Room 208 of the Community Center.
Third, after a careful review of the budget, the board decided to make a number of cuts. Whenever possible, these cuts were made in ways which would minimize the impact on students. The specific reductions are:
* Postpone purchase of new bus
* Reduce technology equipment purchase
* Eliminate one psychologist at high school
* Suspend Middle School Frost Valley trip
* Postpone purchase of field maintenance vehicle
* Postpone purchase of auto scrubber
* Reduce estimated salaries and fringes
* Postpone contribution to capital fund
* Reduce allocation for part-time Community Center Director
* Reduce contribution to Teacher Center
* Reduce anticipated cost of borrowing for Tax Anticipation Notes
* Reduce allocation for Summer workshops
* Reduce allocation for workshops and conferences
* Reduce allocation for Board of Education expenses
These reductions total $684,353.
With these reductions, the increase in the budget has been reduced from 5.81 percent to 4.64 percent.
The board also made adjustments to anticipated revenues. While the new state budget provides for an increase in state aid, above what had been estimated in April, this increase has been largely offset by changes in assessed value and a further shift by Nassau County in the portion of taxes paid by homeowners versus commercial property owners. The increase in net revenues is $106,990.
With the reduction in expenditures and the increase in revenue, there is a net change from the original proposed budget of $791,343. This reduces the estimated Class I residential tax increase from 8.85 percent to 7.25 percent.
Copies of the revised budget are available in the Administration Building and in all schools.
Please feel free to call us if you have any questions.
President, Herricks School Board
John E. Bierwirth
Superintendent of Schools