Written by Daniel Offner Thursday, 13 March 2014 00:00
The Levittown Public School District Board of Education is mulling a proposed $199.6 million spending plan for the 2014-2015 school year, which would increase spending by 2.09 percent. This amounts to a budget-to-budget increase of roughly $4.1 million from last year, when local voters approved a $195.6 million budget.
Halfway through its fiscal planning for the 2014-2015 budget, the board reconvened on March 5, to discuss forecasted increases in transportation, athletics, and computer technology costs.
At the meeting, Transportation Supervisor Dajuana Reeves presented a $5.5 million spending proposal, which would increase the department’s spending by $369,650 from last year. Additionally, $442,000 would be allocated to purchase four new school buses.
“This is a substantial difference from last year’s budget,” replied Trustee Michael Pappas.
According to Pappas, with the state estimating a $2.3 million increase in aid, the district plans to look at each expense with a fine-tooth comb to try and identify any possible savings. Upon further examination, school board members requested that Reeves deduct any money that the district expects to make by trading in some of the obsolete and non-servicable buses in their fleet to try and offset the budget increase.
Keith Snyder, director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics, was next, to present his $1.9 million spending proposal, a $670 increase from last year.
“I think we’ve been very frugal this year,” Snyder said. “We are pretty much where we were last year.”
According to Snyder, the athletics department is looking to acquire an assistant diving coach, an assistant coach for boys and girls varsity basketball, and new uniforms for the Division Avenue and MacArthur High School Varsity wrestling and track teams. He added that without an assistant dive coach, the varsity swim team will continue to be penalized 15 points at the start of every swim meet this season.
Todd Connell, Levittown’s director of computer and media services, was last to present a $4.9 million spending proposal, that would increase department spending by $323,009 from last year. According to Connell, the increase would cover the cost of new PC computers, laptops, iPads, smartboards, and servers.
Board Secretary Ed Powers recommended that because the cost of buying new electronic devices is so high, that the district look into a lease program, which would enable the district to keep its technological edge without needing to spend as much.
With less than two months remaining before the Levittown school district must adopt a spending plan for the 2014-2015 school year, the Board of Education plans to hold three more budget workshops. The next budget presentation/public hearing will be held on March 19, at 7:30 p.m. in the Levittown Memorial Education Center, located at 150 Abbey Lane.