West Islip School Superintendent Rick Simon revealed a second draft of the 2011-12 school budget that calls for more staff reductions as well as the elimination of the JV2/JV9 athletic programs.
At the school district's second budget hearing Thursday night at the high school, Simon shared his draft budget revisions with the board of education, which totaled $1.15 million less than the $108.6 million first draft budget he revealed two weeks ago.
His new projections would shrink the tax rate increase from 10.3 percent to 8.59 percent. It also eliminates 5.5 more teaching positions than his first draft, bringing the potential number of teacher reductions to 36.2 teachers.
District wide, 46 to 50 positions are being cut at this point, the superintendent said.
Simon's second draft reductions include:
- Reduce Beach Street sixth grade one section
- Reduce IB Essay Advisor
- Increase elementary class size, which would eliminate four classroom teachers, one physical education teacher, .5 music and .5 art teachers.
- Eliminate elementary level foreign language program (two more teaching positions)
- Restructure middle schools to an eight period day
In addition, the current draft budget also includes the following cuts:
- Math Director
- World Language Director
- CSE/CPSE Chairperson reassigned to building level psychologist
- Public Relations person
- IB Coordinator duties added to SS Director
- AV Coordinator duties added to Instructional Technology Director
While these positions may be eliminated, the duties of each would not go away and would be assumed by other administrators in the school district
In regards to possible cuts of the JV9/JV2 programs, Simon said Tim Horan, the school district’s athletics director, informed the him that many other schools were also looking to eliminate similar teams in their districts. As a result, even if West Islip were to maintain its teams as this level, it would likely have few or no other schools to play.
This cut would save the school district approximately $95,000, which would have covered coaches' salaries, transportation costs and official fees.
Simon’s presentation of second draft budget, which includes more reductions mainly in staffing, was received quietly by a somber audience that packed the high school’s Performing Arts Center.
One resident, Chris Camillery, asked the board of education if trustees had discussed the possibility of a wage freeze with the school district’s employee unions, the largest of which is the teacher’s union. Board President Steve Gellar acknowledged that there had been some discussion, but declined to comment further.
According to the superintendent’s presentation, salary increases district wide for the 2011-12 school year are increasing some $2.8 million. Using the school district’s average cost per teacher of $80,000 annually (salary and benefits), the reduction of 32.6 teaching positions would save the school district about $2.6 million dollars for the next budget year.
Budget Progression2011/12 Rollover 2011/12 First Draft 2011/12 Second Draft Budget $110,994,618 $108,611,892 $107,456,877 Budget Increase 6.62% 4.33% 3.22% Tax Rate Increase 13.81% 10.30% 8.59%
The next budget meeting is next Thursday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Suffolk Boces Superintendent Gary Bixhorn will discuss the potential tax cap.