After more than two months of drafts, meetings and hearings, the Mamaroneck School Board adopted its budget for the 2009-2010 school year Tuesday night. The $120,695,077 budget will result in a 3.23% budget-to-budget increase and a 3.89% tax rate increase.
The adopted budget is much the same as the superintendent’s revised budget. (See: Positions Restored and Tax Increase Lowered.) Most noteworthy, however, are concessions by the Mamaroneck Teachers’ Association (MTA) and the Administrators’ Association that will prevent any district teachers from losing their jobs.
Teacher and Administrator Give-Backs
The teachers and building administrators have agreed to give back a half day’s pay and to increase their health insurance contributions from 6% to 7% this year (rather than wait until next year, as provided in their contracts). They will also forgo contractual increases to the Welfare Trust (a self-insured dental and vision plan) that was slated to go from $1,200 to $1,300 per person.
The savings, nearly $250,000, will be used to restore 2.2 teaching positions. An English teacher and a physical education teacher will now keep their jobs, and a Hommocks home and careers teacher will be restored to full-time.
According to MTA President Ann Borsellino, the concessions were motivated by concerns about maintaining the quality of the schools. “The MTA heard the community in 1994, and we did again now in 2009,” she said after the meeting. “We believe it’s the right thing to do for the children in our district.”
Later, School Board President Linnet Tse explained that the concessions came without strings attached. “This was a true gift from the teachers and administrators,” she said. The only condition was that the give-back funds be used to restore jobs.
A combination of the economic stimulus package, the new union concessions and concessions offered previously by central administrators has enabled the district to reduce the number of positions cut from almost 50 to fewer than 40. And because of retirements, resignations and leaves, far fewer people will need to be fired. Twelve teaching assistants and a clerical employee are still expected to lose their jobs; however, these figures are still “very fluid,” explained Dr. Fried.