9.82% Increase for 2004-05 School Budget

by Joan R. Simon

(March 11, 2004) For the second year in a row, the proposed Mamaroneck School budget, which was presented at the March 9 board meeting, will carry a nearly 10% tax increase for community homeowners. The bottom line of the provisional budget is $89,484,000 or 9.44% more than last year’s budget, which translates to a 9.82% tax increase.

  Partial funding of $500,000 for the much-debated varsity field and reconfigured Kemper Memorial is contained in a $2 million transfer to the capital fund that also includes the final installment for renovations to the Hommocks pool.

KEMPER MEETING: "The Mamaroneck Board of Education invites the community to a second public meeting about the Kemper Memorial to be held on Monday, March 22, 2004 at 7:30 pm in the Post Road Auditorium of Mamaroneck High School." See: First Open Meeting

NOTE:
CORRECTED DATE

An additional $800,000 is expected to be earmarked for the high school campus changes in the 2005-06 budget, if the board decides to go ahead with the project. If the total amount of $1.3 million is approved, work would begin sometime after May, 2005.

Recent sharp rises in special education costs will be moderated next year, due to a gradual shift from out of district placement to in-district classes. Mandated increases include two and half positions for special education teachers and additional aide support.

Over two-thirds of the budget increase comes from mandated programs that include:

  • teacher retirement fund contributions, which have quadrupled;

  • health insurance premiums, which will rise 13%;

  • 2% average increase in overall salaries for step increments, per contract;

  • 27% rise in the debt service, which represents the interest on 5 outstanding bonds, the largest of which is the $49.7 million bond passed in June, 2001

The last third comes mostly from increases in salaries and benefits (some contracts are still under negotiation).

Only a minimal rise in the overall student population is projected for next year, but increases at the secondary level will require several new staff positions: one secondary level psychologist, one high school teacher, and a middle school nurse. A new district-wide position of Director of Curriculum and Instruction is also being proposed, at a cost of approximately $140,000.

budgetThe 2004-05 budget, while containing a daunting array of numbers, is accompanied by clearly written summaries before each section and many colorful and illuminating charts. It follows the same format as the 2003-04 budget, which received an award from the Association of School Business Officials International. Superintendent Sherry King encouraged community members to pick up copies of the budget, which are available in the District Clerk’s office, and to attend one of the scheduled budget hearings. She noted that during her 8-year tenure as superintendent, “there has never been a time when there haven’t been changes from this rendering of the budget to the Board’s adoption.”

Schedule of Budget Hearings

Saturday, March 13: 9:00 am – 12:00

  9 -- 10 am

10 -- 11 am

11 -- 12 am

financial section; program highlights

special education; health benefits

capital component: debt service


Tuesday, March 16: 7:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Tuesday, March 30 7:30 pm School Board adopts the Budget

 

 

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