Floyd budget to come under cap
The tax levy for the 2019-2020 school budget will come under the tax levy cap of 3.47 percent, at an expected 1.99 percent.

Courtesy photos

Floyd budget to come under cap

Story By: GLENN ROHRBACKER
3/14/2019


 

The William Floyd School District will present a preliminary budget to the board of education next month that comes well under the maximum tax levy increase of 3.47 percent. The budget will include a tentative 1.99 percent increase in the tax levy, compared to the 3.74 percent maximum allowed under the state’s 2 percent growth cap. 

Numbers from the district show a budget just under $246 million, compared to just over $240 million for the current year. The process started with $241 million worth of costs from the current year, with $4.3 million in additional expenses, for a 2.47 increase budget to budget. 

Some of the proposed additions include two classroom infrastructures for the William Floyd Learning Center, with two teachers and teaching assistants, for a total of $353,800. Officials said the additional cost from the learning center actually comes to a net savings, after cutting costs from what would have been a program outsourced to BOCES. The district is also proposing $316,000 in technology upgrades, including additional privacy and virus protections and updated software and hardware. 

Both middle schools will see staffing increases based on the approval of the nine-period day that was proposed last month, including six teachers and two special education teachers. William Paca Middle School will also receive a new teacher for the Intensive Counseling Program. These personnel additions, with the infrastructure along with them, come to $1.5 million. Moriches Elementary School was also budgeted $112,000 for a new school counselor. All personnel costs include salary and benefits.

The longer school day, after officials proposed adding 18 minutes to the day district-wide, will result in $1.8 million in additional transportation costs. The district is also counting an additional $170,000 to compensate for the reduction of grants from the federal government. There will also be a full-time clerical employee added to the athletics department. These additions total just over $2 million. 

Revenue for the proposed budget includes a $101 million tax levy, $1.3 million in additional income, $126.8 million in state aid, $6.4 million in reserves, and $9.6 in the applied fund balance. School budgets are required by law to be balanced. The school received a net increase of $838,000 in state aid in the governor’s proposed budget. 

Board officials are concerned with the budget process in Albany, as the deadline to have one passed is April 1. A late budget puts in question what numbers the district can tell the public and, so far, officials have been basing their projections on the governor’s January proposed budget, which will no doubt be changed in the legislative process. Although, board officials don’t have reason to believe the state aid will decrease. 

The district and board of education are encouraging residents to come out and vote for the budget either way on May 21. Last year, out of an estimated 40,000 registered, eligible voters, only 1731 went to the polls — a 4 percent turnout. 

The board will adopt the proposed budget at the April 16 meeting at 7 p.m. and the annual public hearing will be on May 14 at 7 p.m. Both are in the William Floyd High School library.