Hello PTA Families,
Thank you to everyone who came to the BOE meeting on Tuesday night to learn about the proposed budget for 2013-14. I have attached the information that was shown that night regarding the budget.
Here are some of the main points:
The BOE has decided that it is necessary to pierce the tax cap imposed by the state- mostly due to the fact that there are fixed costs beyond their control that are a part of this budget.
The budget has a 2.9% spending increase. That is 2.6% over the cap. The BOE began with a 8.9% spending increase which was $1.3 million over the cap. They had to cut $1 million from our budget- actually from 1/2 of our budget because 1/2 of our budget goes to WHB as tuition for our students there.
They would need to cut $587,000 more to just reach the cap and not pierce. This would result in a severe loss of programs and education for our children.
Because they could not propose a budget with a 8.9% increase and expect it to pass, they decided to cut $1 million from the budget. This means that they will have to let go 2 teacher aides, a part time Librarian, .5 Foreign Language teacher, and 1 Special Education teacher.The aide positions will be cut by not replacing employees who are resigning, retiring or whose services are no longer necessary. The reductions in aide positions will not have an impact on any instructional programs or services. If you have any questions regarding programs or services please feel free to contact Mr. Long.
These cuts will happen even if this proposed budget passes. What is very important to understand is that if this budget fails, there will need to be MANY more cuts put into place. If this budget fails the BOE has to present a budget that does not exceed the cap. That means cutting ANOTHER $587,000 from the proposed budget. Those cuts would be devastating to our school community.
Included in those possible cuts would be 2 more special education teachers, 1-2 general education teachers, possible 1/2 day kindergarten, 1 reading teacher, 1 music teacher (the instrumental music program would be eliminated), 2 teacher assistants and 1 custodial position.
Based on this year's home assessment values this means that for the average home owner ($500,000 assessed home value)- the dollar increase would be $241.00 for the proposed budget and $114.00 for the budget that makes further cuts to reach the cap. That is a difference of $127.00!
$127.00 means the difference between a program that the BOE is assuring us will still meet the needs of the children and a program that will include devastating losses to our children's education.
This is an unprecedented time in East Quogue history. We have never had to vote on a budget that includes cuts even if the budget passes. The BOE has assured us that they looked at all possible cuts before looking at positional cuts.
I believe the best thing that we can do now for our children is to make sure this information gets out to the public and encourage everyone to come vote on May 21st. Every vote counts!!
Next PTA meeting is April 6- 7pm in the Library.Next BOE meeting is April 17- 7:45pm in the Cafetorium
As always thank you for your support!