Rockville Centre Board of Education adopts 2013-14 budget

Public vote on spending plan on May 21


At its meeting on April 17, the Rockville Centre Board of Education officially adopted its 2013-14 budget, which increases spending almost $3.5 million over the current spending plan.

The budget was debated in meetings for weeks by the board, which was going over some of the finer points with district administrators. The board had cut $1.3 million from the budget to keep the growth below the New York State Tax Cap.

Most of the cuts the Board of Education made were from items that had extra budgeted in case of emergencies.

The majority of the budget increases came from the mandatory payments the district has to make in health insurance salaries and retirement contributions, which added up to $3 million by themselves. There were also steep increases in the Employee Retirement System, Social Security and transportation, which added on an additional $570,000. Those increases alone were more than the maximum allowable tax levy increase under the cap.

While there were many small cuts made, no programs were touched. All of the district’s existing programs are carried forward.

The budget is also adding a few new programs, including a Boys Swim Team at South Side High School and starting the International Baccalaureate’s Middle Years Program for grades 6 through 8 at the middle school.

Since the budget was adopted, the Board of Education can no longer make any changes to it. It will hold a budget hearing on May 7 at 7:30 p.m. in room 112 of SSHS to answer any questions the public may have about the spending plan.

The public will be able to vote on the plan on May 21 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the high school gym. Because the tax levy increase stays below the tax cap, only a regular majority is needed to pass the budget. Everyone is encouraged to come out and vote.