With an estimated $4 million budget gap to close, the Nanuet School District started the process of looking at the school’s budget in October.
Superintendent Mark McNeill gave his recommendation to the school board at Tuesday night’s meeting. Read more about his recommendation—which includes cuts to staff, reserves and other budget reductions—in this Patch article.
“What I’m submitting to the board is some recommended expenditures. The board builds the budget and the budget workshops begin next week,” said McNeill.
Read more about the school budget's details in this Patch article.
Workshops do not have an agenda nor a public forum
- March 11—General support, buildings and grounds, transportation, benefits and revenue
- March 12—Staffing and instruction
- March 19—Total Budget Review (followed by a regular board meeting)
The new levy formula, which puts a 2 percent levy limit on the budget, went into effect last year.
“Most of the districts in the county have been able to raise their levy cap to about 2 percent,” said McNeill.
In 2013-14’s budget, they “can only raise the levy by 1.09 percent.” In a February meeting, McNeill explained why it’s not at 2 percent like most districts: “It’s because we have the Shops at Nanuet in a PILOT agreement (Payment in lieu of taxes) with the county and that amount must be subtracted from the levy. This is two years in a row where we’re not able to come in at about 2 percent like most districts in the state.”
In 2012-13, the district budget’s tax levy to .64 percent because they were “penalized by the levy limit formula for retiring debt,” said McNeill
He added that those that designed the levy limit formula did not take into consideration certain inclusions that may impact districts such as Nanuet.
“A year ago, if we could have had a levy of 2 percent, that would have given us more expenses to work with,” he said. “The taxpayer might say, ‘well I would much prefer a .64 tax levy increase,’ but from the school district’s perspective, it makes it more difficult … to be able to fashion a budget to maintain the programs that we have.”
“We’re going to have to draw a substantial amount from the reserves,” said McNeill. “We have $4.3 million in reserves and if we do nothing else than what I’m recommending, it’ll be dropped to $1.6 million. That’s around a 63 percent drop.”
The district has a gap of about $4 million to close for the budget to fit under the levy limit.
Here’s a look at amounts the district drew from reserves in recent years:Year Amount 11-12 $1.3M 12-13 $1.8M 13-14 $2.7M
“Going into next year, I’m quite concerned,” said McNeill, adding that they were hoping the reserves help them through the next few years while the board continues to lobby and see how successful legislators are in getting inclusions that will benefit the Nanuet School District instead of working against it.
Check back with Nanuet Patch tomorrow morning for the last update on Tuesday night's budget presentation, which includes a look at past trends on salaries, benefits and enrollment
Related Patch Articles:
- $4M Gap In Draft 2013-14 Nanuet School Budget
- McNeill Requests Tabling of Grade Reconfiguration
- Future Nanuet School Budget: "Going to be Survival"
- Nanuet School Budget: Possible Depletion of Reserves
- Superintendent McNeill Explains Proposed Changes
- Nanuet School Budget: Breaking Down the Numbers
- Nanuet Schools 2013-14 Budget: $3.5M Budget Gap
- Nanuet School Board: Federal Call to Action