RYE, N.Y. The Rye City School District Board of Education unanimously adopted Wedneday evening the superintendents proposed 2012-13 budget of $73,580,000. The budget, which is tax complaint, pulls $2.5 million out of the district's ample $15 million fund balance to plug a $1.7 million hole in operating costs for the 2012-13 school year. The remaining $800,000 is allocated to renovate locker rooms at the high school.
In June of last year, state lawmakers passed legislation that placed a 2 percent cap on the increases property tax collectors could levy on citizens. Although the cap is known as the 2 percent tax cap, the formula used to calculate each individual school district or municipality's cap fluctuates both north and south of the 2 percent figure. The adopted property tax levy increase is cap compliant at 1.94 percent.
The budget-to-budget increase sits at 2.33 percent while the estimated tax rate increases by 1.75 percent and the non-tax revenue decreases by 2.24 percent.
The budget largely resembles the modified version the district presented to the board at its early April meeting where the district restored a total of 2.5 clerical and aide positions. The adopted budget also adds a custodial position that was previously omitted and will add two full-time faculty to accommodate the enrollment bulge.
Although the adopted budget restored positions that were previously cut positions, it does reduce the number of clerical positions from 15 full-time employees to 13 and the number of aides from five to three. In addition, it does not provide funds for the replacement of the middle school librarian who is retiring in June.
"I think this has been an incredibly painful process obviously for personnel that are affected but for all our schools and community," school board President Laura Slack said. "We do find ourselves, because of the tax cap, in an unenviably position. Our children are not being prioritized by our state."
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