Kemper Funds Out/New Teachers In: School Tax to Rise 7.53%

by Joan R. Simon

Highlights of the Budget

(March 10, 2005) Funding for the Kemper Memorial is out and new teacher positions are in, according to Mamaroneck Superintendent Sherry King’s recommended school budget for 2005-06. Spending will total $95,952,000, which translates into a 7.53% increase in the tax rate, well under the near 10% rises of the past two years. A public session to review the budget will be held on Saturday, March 12, from 9 – 12 noon in the PRCC at Mamaroneck High School. (See schedule below for details.)

budgetTwo public workshops last fall (see: How to Lower the Mamaroneck School Budget; and Public Budget Sessions Yield Few Cost Savings ) and a legal decision in January denying the district a go-ahead with their Kemper Memorial Park reconfiguration plan ( (see Judge Rules: Kemper Park Changes Prohibited) contributed to the specific terms of the recommended budget. Most of the increases revolve around adding teachers, to accommodate population growth, primarily at the secondary level, and to reduce class sizes for kindergarten. The increases include:

  • 3.4 additional teachers at the high school
  • 1 additional elementary teacher
  • Kindergarten class limit reduced to 22, requiring up to 2 additional teachers
  • Increased funding for special education, health insurance, retirement plan.
  • 3.2% increase in teacher and administrative salaries by contract

Funding for staff development and technology will be reduced in the new budget, reflecting suggestions from the budget workshops. The largest decrease from the preliminary budget, however, comes from the elimination of $800,000 earmarked for the Kemper Memorial Park project, which was to include the addition of a varsity soccer field. The district still has more than six months to appeal the court’s decision.

Dr. King commented: “The proposed budget responds to the charge given the superintendent by the school board after their budget workshops with the community in the fall.” She added, “That charge was to maintain the district's educational programs, paying special attention to class sizes in kindergarten and at the high school … and to find areas to cut back expenses to lower the tax increase.”

Because snow storms cancelled both the study session and board meeting in March, the first public presentation of the budget will be at the review session on Saturday, March 12. Copies of the budget can be obtained from the Superintendent’s office and will also be available at the Saturday meeting. There will be an additional budget study session on Tuesday, March 15 at 7:30 pm in the PRCC.

Saturday, March 12 from 9 am-noon

Budget study session. Public input welcome. The schedule is as follows:

9:00 - 10:00 Financial Section

  • Program Highlights
  • Public Comments

10:00 - 11:00 Special Education

  • Health Benefits
  • Public Comments

11:00 - 12:00 Capital Component

  • Debt Service
  • Forward-Backward Look
  • Public Comments