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Saturday, April 19, 2014
Malverne planning minor staff cuts
Howard Schwach

The Malverne schools plan no major cuts in the proposed 2013-14 budget, according to a report by the district’s superintendent, John Hunderfund.

There will be some minor tinkering with staff, cuts of an elementary teacher and an art teacher, the addition of a reading teacher and some more security, but nothing like the wholesale reductions planned in other Nassau County districts. In fact, Malverne will fund 161.6 full-time positions in the proposed spending plan, only 4.85 fewer than the 166.45 it is funding this year.

There are a few changes in the works, however. Technology will now be taught along with other subjects rather that as a discrete subject. And $200,000 that has been budgeted to pay for tax certiorari cases has been returned to the general budget in the wake of a court decision that Nassau County cannot shift the burden of repaying homeowners found to have been overtaxed to school districts.

In addition, said Business Manager Thomas McDaid, the district is planning to get back some of the high-tax category aid that was cut by $21,000 by the governor in his preliminary budget. The district had expected an increase of $200,000 in high-tax aid.

Administrators are also planning to make use of the governor’s plan to allow school districts to extend their pension plan payouts by stabilizing the amount Malverne pays out at 12 percent over 25 years — which McDaid likened to a long-term fixed mortgage. He said he figured that the move would save the district $450,000.

McDaid added that the district is awaiting the final details of the State Legislature’s budget before drawing up its final spending plan. He said he hopes that at least some of the high-tax aid will return to the district, and that he will be able to retain the $200,000 in certiorari money that was put back in the budget.

The proposed budget is expected to be finalized by April 5. The school board will vote on it on April 9, and residents will cast their votes on May 21 at the middle school.

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