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Assistant Superintendent for Business Larry Blake and Assistant Superintendent for Personnel Ann Israel gave an operational cost analysis presentation operational for the next five years taking into account the increased student enrollment and other factors.

Mrs. Israel began the presentation stating that the basis of her report on staffing was based on

* projections on units of 100 children

* baseline number of students actually enrolled 1999-2000

* enrollment projections of January 18, 2000 were used.

* projections of elementary staff based on total elementary numbers not by building.

* assuming a reasonable ratio of students to support staff.

She noted that her report was a blueprint, and that it's not always possible to forecast the future because of changes in state and federal mandates and programmatic changes instituted by the district. She added that her figures are based on the current educational program in the district.

For grades K-5 the projected instructional staffing, based on units of 100 children is as follows:

classroom teachers 5.0
PPS staff 1.2
(based on 15 percent classified)
ESL staff 0.2
(based on 10 percent classified)
PEP staff 0.2
(based on 8 percent identified)
Reading 0.5
(based on 16 percent identified)
Special Areas 1.0
(Art, music, PE, library)
Total staff: 8.1
Grades 6,7,8
Core teachers 4.0
Foreign language 1.0
ESL staff 0.2
(based on 10 percent identified)
PEP staff 0.2
(based on 14 percent identified)
Reading 0.4
Encore areas (Art, Music, PE,
Health, H&C, Tech Ed., Computers,
Library Media) 1.5
Pupil Personnel Services 1.7
Guidance 0.4
Total staff: 9.4
Grades 9-12
Core teachers 4.0
Foreign Language 1.0
ESL Staff 0.4
Reading 0.2
Encore Areas l.5
Pupil Personnel Services 1.8
Guidance 0.5
Psychologist 0.2
Total staff 9.6
Then Mrs. Israel gave the Projected Instructional Staffing based on enrollment projections:
99-00 00-01 02-03 04-05
K-5
Enrollment 2158 2200 2258 2313
Instructional Staff 184 187 192 196
6,7,8 958 996 1106 1137
Instructional Staff 96 100 110 113
9-12 1161 1210 1344 1476
Instructional Staff 125 130 143 156
Pre-K and Districtwide
Enrollment 83 90 90 90
Instructional Staff 6 6 6 6
Total Staffing 411 423 451 471
(+12) (+28) (+20)
Then Mrs. Israel presented the projected non-instructional staffing, based on units of 100 students.
Paraprofessionals
K-5---4.3 Middle School---2.4 High School---2.1
Clerical
K-5---0.5 Middle School---1.2 High School---1.6
Custodial/Maintainers
K-5---0.75 Middle School---1.0 High School---1.1
And the non-instructional summary-enrollment increases, total number of staff by category and year were as follows:
99-00 00-01 02-03 04-05
Enrollment 4277 4406 4708 4926
Paraprofessionals 145 148 157 162
Clerical 74 75 79 81
Custodial/
Maintainers 64 65 67 70
Total non-
instructional 283 288 303 313

The staffing to cost projections came next:

Costing Analysis 2000-2005

*Current enrollment 4277

*Current staff 694 (instructional and non-instructional)

*Projected enrollment 2004-2005 is 4926

*Projected staff 2004-2005 is 784

Using a chart, Mrs. Israel illustrated the numbers used to estimate taxes in five years:

Instructional 2004/05 Salary and Benefits
$61,500 X 3 % each year
60 $71,295 $4,277,700
Non-instructional 30 $36,900 X 3 % each year
$42,777 $1,283,310

Transportation, supplies, equipment,

computers, texts at $61,600 per

100 students
649 student $61,600 X 3 percent each year
increase $71,411 $463,457
Total: $4,374,467

However, Mrs. Israel reduced this total due to the retirement factor. She noted that the cost of additional staff must include consideration of anticipated retirements. She pointed out that in the late 1960s a hiring surge had led to a retiring surge over the next five years. A minimum of ten to twelve retirements per year is anticipated, she said. Therefore a minimum of 55 instructional staff retirements are expected through June 2005. A minimum savings of $1,650,000 based on anticipated retirements is expected. (This is based on salary and benefits of retiring teachers yielding $30,000 per retirement.)

Therefore, Mrs. Israel subtracted the "retirement factor" of $1,650,000 from the $4,374,467 figure, making a total increase of $2,724,467.

Then Mr. Blake explained that to raise $1,000,000 impacts the tax rate by 85 cents. Therefore this would yield an estimated tax increase of $372 per year (3.72 per 100 assessed value) for the average home.

He then gave tax increase information based on the prior 5 years in which the student population increased by 386 students or 9.9 percent. During that time, the total tax rate increased $10.06, or 24 percent. The average increase per year was $201.20. This used the current taxes, a five-year increase (the same as prior five years which included all costs associated with a 386 student increase, the bond increase, and a cost for the additional student increase of 263 students for a total population increase of 649.

Mr. Blake also pointed out that even if the $87 million bond is defeated, another bond will be put up eventually. He noted that the $87 million bond at 80% aidability, with 28 percent aid will raise taxes $480. He then pointed out that should a $50 million bond be approved later on, the tax bite, based on the same formula, would be $280. This represents a difference of $200 per year, or $16.67 per month.

He also pointed out that due to the expiration of the extra 10 percent state aid currently available, the tax bite on a $50 million bond at a later date at 18 percent would be $310 for the average home.

Mr. Blake then listed an "optimistic approach" which included the following "maybes."

* The retirement factor could possibly end up being 100 retirees over the next five years, which would save a total of $3 million.

* There could be an increased tax base and increased revenues (Morewood, new development, etc.). He gave a figure of a possible $2 million.

* The current debt service (outstanding payments for previous bonds) paid in full by 2006-07 subtracts another $1,200,000 from the yearly budget.

In addition, during the past five years the district has averaged $1,541,638 appropriated in the operating budget for capital projects. In the long-term plan the current bond includes $2,478,770 for deferred capital projects. In future operating budgets the capital project appropriations should be able to be reduced to a range of $500,000 to $750,000. This would result in a savings of $750,000 to $1 million per year in the operating budget, according to Mr. Blake.

Also to be considered is the fact that the longterm plan currently supported by the bond is to return Special Education students to in-district classes from outside settings. Of approximately 100 students placed in BOCES or other outside placements a return of 60-70 students to in-district placements has the potential to save approximately $900,000 to $1,050,000 (Using an estimate of $15,000 savings per student.

All these could favorably impact taxes.

Board member John Zimmerman disagreed with Mr. Blake's numbers, however. He said that it was "the absolute reverse of normal accounting procedures, confusing, overestimated revenues and underestimated expenses."

He says that the BOE budget for next year alone calls for over 20 new teachers. Mrs. Israel explained that the 20 teachers include programmatic considerations in addition to enrollment ones.

He says that the retirement factor is "not correct, not conservative and not factual." He noted that the expected minimum retirements over the next five years equals the actual retirements over the last five years.

He says that the custodial staff increases should be based on the total increase in the entire physical space. He notes that the square footage in the district will increase 233,000 square feet to 748,000 square feet which represents an increase of 45 percent. This means you use about 45 percent more electricity, gas/oil, floor wax. etc. He estimates that this would add another $187 per year.

He also says that Salem overhead is not taken into consideration or furniture/fixtures etc. Ultimately, he believes that the increase will be more like $2,800, by the end of the fifth year, which in his report is 2006.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Inserra pointed out that administration's projections go out to only 2005, and believes that this makes the difference between Mr. Zimmerman's figures and Mr. Blake's minimal.

Board member Dean Nardone and others criticized Mr. Zimmerman for not providing them with his report prior to the meeting. He noted that the board had no time to analyze it and formulate questions so that an "intelligent discussion" could take place.

The board voted 5 to 2 to put this information on the official district website. Mr. Sussman and Mr. Zimmerman voted against doing so. Mr. Zimmerman stated that the district's projections fall very short of what the real figures will be and asked that it be put on the record as requesting a legal opinion from counsel on the matter.


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