The Glen Cove Board of Education will have some tough decisions to make regarding the 2015-16 budget, as the district still has a budget “gap” of nearly $1 million, according to the latest budget presentation. The number could be less, however, if the state aid numbers are given, but for the time being, the district is working on a tight budget.
Victoria Galante, the assistant superintendent for business, presented the program component of the budget in the fourth budget workshop, held at Robert M. Finley Middle School on Monday, March 9. She went over the proposed budget numbers as compared with actual expenses from 2013-14 and last year’s budget; the program component comprises $68,190,544, the bulk of the proposed budget, which at this point totals $82,398,138 in appropriations and $81,434,751 in revenues, leaving a gap of $963,387.
Over the next few weeks, the board of education will look at each line item and discuss where cuts could be made.
Superintendent Maria Rianna was not present at the board meeting. To date, no school districts in New York have received the state aid runs, so the revenue budget reflects no increase in state aid.
“I’m hoping Ms. Rianna comes back with news,” said Galante. “We will have to talk about strategy if we still have no numbers by April 1.”
Trustee Grady Farnan asked, “How much, classically, does the district receive from the state?”
Galante said that last year the increase was about $450,000.
The biggest line item in the program component of the budget is “teaching-regular school” which includes salaries for teachers, teaching assistants, monitors, substitute teachers, clerical positions and textbooks and supplies; the proposed budget is $24,493,527 for next year for this line item, as compared with $23,470,464 in the current budget. Galante said the increase mainly comes from contractual obligations as well as an increase in teaching assistants and monitors.
Another item that has a large increase is “teaching-special ed” which is $12,836,585 in the proposed budget, over $11,282,037 for the current year. Galante said this item includes the money the district spends on sending students out to special ed schools, and the number fluctuates from year to year.
She also mentioned that the district will soon be offering a lower cost health plan option to district employees, which will make it cheaper for both employees and the district.
After the presentation, the floor was open for public comment.
Resident Alison Gasparello noted that one of the goals of the board was to bring back a ninth period at the high school.
“When things are taken away, it seems like it is nearly impossible to bring them back,” she said.
Galante said that the topic had been discussed between her and Rianna.
“If we do bring it back, we want to make sure it is sustainable,” she said.
The next budget workshop will be on Monday, March 23 at the middle school. Once all of the information has been given to the board, the trustees will make cuts before adopting a budget for the public to vote on; the vote will be on Tuesday, May 19.