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Teachers, Staff Cut in Proposed Smithtown School Budget

Proposed budget is a 1.63 percent increase from the 2011-12 adopted budget.

Smithtown School District Superintendent Edward Ehmann unveiled the proposed 2012-2013 budget Wednesday night, a $215.8 million spending measure which would lay off roughly 45 faculty and staff members and increase 1.63 percent over the current budget. 

To reduce the financial gap the district is putting forth a number of staff reductions, decided prior to March 20. The cuts include:

  • five full time employees in elementary attrition
  • six full time employees from the closing of Nesconset Elementary
  • three full time employees from special areas
  • one elementary principal and one assistant principal
  • one teacher assistant
  • .5 nurses
  • two greeters
  • six lunch monitors
  • one clerk typist and one senior clerk typist
  • two custodial positions
  • five full time employees from a change in the secondary music lesson rotation
  • 12.1 full time employees in an increase in high school class size averages

The secondary school music lesson rotation will change from students receiving individual lessons from every seven days to every 10 days. Elementary music education will remain the same.

The staff reductions would result in savings of $3,059,276.

Following the initial reductions decided by March 20 were an additional $625,000 in reductions, which include $425,000 in savings from attrition due to declining enrollment, a social worker and psychologist retiring at the end of the year that won't be replaced, and replacements of a counselor and a reading teacher. An additional $200,000 would be saved by a rebate offered to the district for renewing the bus contract. This would be pending the board's approval.

To hit this number the district is suggesting the use of $1.5 million from the Assigned (Approprated) Fund Balance and $3.8 million from the Restricted (Appropriated) Reserves. This was contested Wednesday by Board of Education member Joseph Saggese, who suggested the district find another way to make the $1.5 million other than by using money from the fund balance or split the $3.8 million through cuts or Smithtown Teacher Association concessions.

Nesconset's closing also would result in savings for the district. According to the Citizens Advisory Committee final report, .

The district will review the information from Wednesday's meeting during Tuesday's board meeting at 8 p.m. in the Joseph Barton Building on New York Avenue. The board will vote to adopt the budget or not on April 17.

townwatcher April 12, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Bill- you hit the nail on the head. but what you have to understand is that what the Carlin/Sagasee always wanted was a financial mess in order to force staff cuts, salary and benefit freezes and program reductions. Because most people value education around here the only way to make that happen is to make it financially impossible to pay for, thus the 0% budgets for the past few years. Now with the 2% cap most districts are squirming to stay under. We've been doing less than that for years now. Is anyone surprised at the state we are in. Unions, teachers and civil servants are great scapegoats in this day in age, but anger only gets you so far. This is why the nature of the board changed so much. They give the STA too much credit for having the power to rule over everything. In the end, the town was just tired of the arrogance and posturing. Now the teacher contract is finally settled at a savings to the district and what do they say....it isn't enough.....even though to my eye it looks better for the district than a number of other recent contracts locally. It's not hard to see what's going on here.
One Opinion April 12, 2012 at 09:15 PM
I ask this to anyone who would like to respond. What are the sinister motives of the BOE members who ask for more concessions? Maybe a 0% increase was not the best choice, I don't know. But it would seem they were trying to do the right thing for the taxpayers of this town. Please educate me on their evil motives as they seem to be vilified by many on these forums. I know the unions motives $$$ but help me understand why trying to get the best deal for the district and keep property taxes inline is bad. These people are community members and parents of Smithtown students they are vested in having a financially sound school district. Maybe I am blind but those are the type of outspoken representatives I want on the BOE.
scsddad April 13, 2012 at 04:03 AM
@Bill After Mr Sagesse leaves the BOE all we will get is talking points Ms McEnroy will be the first one to give the STA's talking points and there will be no one on the board to question her. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THE STA WANTS. So there won't be much to learn at the meetings
scsddad April 13, 2012 at 04:13 AM
Bill @ townwatcher Don't you remember what was going on in the district before Mr Sagesse & Mr Carlin were on the board. We had huge tax hikes and out of control contracts given out. Ms Waldron was on the board through all this.
scsddad April 21, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Bill You keep saying Ken doesn't go to board meetings I don't reember seeing Ms McEroy or Ms Plourde at board meetings before they were elected to the board where did they get there information from the Sta

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