Faced with less state aid and rising costs, the is forced to reduce staff for the 2011-2012 school year.
– which will be voted on May 17 — calls for a .72% decrease in spending from the current year and a tax levy increase of 2.52%.
Salaries make up the majority of the district’s total expenses at $78,053,893.This figure is $2.44 million less than last year and was reached by reducing the district’s full-time staff by 39.32 and teacher aides/monitors by around 13.
Retirements and duty realignments mean that the full 42 positions will not be eliminated. According to Assistant Superintendent for Business Paul Defendini, a definitive number of layoffs is not yet available because that number will based upon year-end staffing.
However, as of this time, there are a projected 15 instructional layoffs, five non-instructional layoffs and 10 teacher aid/school monitor layoffs for the upcoming school year.
Parents at the recent budget workshops expressed some concern about these reductions.
"This year my son who is in first grade broke his leg and an aid pushed my son around school for two months while he healed," said Dan Napolitano at the budget presentation on March 23. "It's that staff level who is going to hold a child's hand and get him through the day."
Federal Jobs funding, a one-time federal grant of $920,773, is being used to mitigate district layoffs. Without the grant, more positions would be lost.
Layoffs were avoided in certain situations by not filling positions made available through retirements. There are two retirements in the high school library and only one of the librarians will be replaced. There is also a part-time clerical position available in Assistant Superintendent Barbara Horsley's office that will remain empty next year. Finally, there are two retirements in central administration and only one replacement will be hired.
The district is receiving $2 million less state aid than last year, while state-mandated costs like employee retirement system contributions and health insurance have increased 35 percent and 15 percent respectively. To help off-set these revenue losses and rising expenses, the budget uses $1,803,251 from the reserves and $5,196,749 from the fund balance - the money left over from last year- a total of $7 million.