School Board Approves $142M Budget; Some Teaching Positions Saved

5-6-14 special meeting1

School district business administrator John Calavano discusses the proposed 2014-2015 school budget at the May 6 meeting.

A $142 million spending plan for the 2014-2015 school year was approved May 6 by the Board of Education.

The budget is powered by a tax levy of nearly $130 million, comprised of $124,774,680 for the general fund and $4,626,751 for the district’s debt service.

The general fund portion of the levy is 2 percent higher than that for the current year, the highest increase allowed by state law.

The proposed school tax rate is about $1.43 per $100 of assessed valuation, which means the owner of an average-assessed house – currently $306,058 – would pay $4,391.93 in taxes, an increase of about $68.

The district’s move late last month to privatize its substitute teachers is expected to save more than $400,000, which allowed the administration to replace several positions that were going to be cut.

Among those positions are six certificated teachers, the district’s personnel director, an assistant bowling coach and a part-time supervisor for the district’s alternative “Road to Success” program.

Eight paraprofessional positions will be lost, but not because of the budget, said Brian Bonanno, the district’s manager of administrative services.

Those positions were lost due to people retiring, resigning or not being re-hired next year, he said.

The budget “does not necessarily negatively impact students,” said board member Delvin Burton, also chairman of the board’s finance committee.

Board member Nancy La Corte asked why an assistant coach – and its $4,479 stipend – was need for the bowling team.

Bonanno said that both the boys’ and girls’ high school teams are coached by one person, who is “running back and forth” to both teams drink tournaments. An assistant, he said, would allow for adult supervision of both teams.

Board vice president Eva Nagy said that the stipends are part of the teachers’ negotiated contracts.

For more on the privatization of substitute teachers, see this story.

For more on the budget, see this story.

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