Not only will Brewster students in June, but it's likely they'll bid farewell to an administrator, teachers, aides, monitors and more.
At Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting, school administrators proposed an $83,699,419 budget—an increase of 1.8 percent over this year's $82,235,776—for the 2012-2013 academic calendar.
Those numbers could change though, as final fund balance figures have yet to be determined and the district is awaiting word of state aid dollars.
The budget is the first in which the school district will feel the effects of the new property tax cap. The legislation was enacted in June 2011, starts with the 2012-2013 school year, and is set to expire in June 2016.
Under the cap, the tax levy may not exceed the prior year’s by more than 2 percent, or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. The 2011-2012 budget was a 0.5 percent decrease from the previous year. It increased the tax levy—which is the total amount of property tax revenue collected by the district—by 2.8 percent.
Overriding the cap would require a 60-percent supermajority. Last year, about 58 percent of the 2,206 people who headed to the polls voted in favor of the budget.
If officials adopt the proposed budget and voters pass it, individual school taxes could be lower or higher than 2 percent, depending on the assessment of a resident's home.
"Effectively, what it [the tax cap] does, is it really puts a noose, if you will, on spending, taxes, and it's meant to constrict the programs and the costs that are passed on to our local taxpayers, at the same time that federal and state money is drying up," Tim Conway, deputy superintendent, said during the presentation. "So there's a revenue squeeze all the way around."
Officials said that, because of budget cuts and declining enrollment, they anticipate eliminating one administrator position and the equivalent of 12.5 teaching positions, some of which are already vacant because of prior leaves. That's in addition to slashing several non-instructional positions.
School officials forecast that class sizes will either remain the same or fluctuate by one or two students, depending on the grade level. This year, sizes range for a low of 20 to 21 students in kindergarten classes to 25 to 26 in fifth grades. Administrators did not provide numbers for high school courses.
Click through the photos at right for the slideshow that officials presented, plus more information on the cuts. Check back with Patch for updates in the coming days.