Friday, Aug 17th

Last updateThu, 16 Aug 2018 2pm

You are here: Home Content School News Board of Education Reviews Budget and Addresses New Allocation
first
  
last
 
 
start
stop
Advice on Standardized Testing from a Recent Scarsdale Grad

Advice on Standardized Testing from a Recent Scarsdale Grad

As the new school year approaches, many students are beginning to c...

LimeBikes Show Up On Scarsdale Streets

LimeBikes Show Up On Scarsdale Streets

Have you seen any green and yellow bikes on sidewalks or lawns arou...

Shake Shack to Open on Central Avenue Plus More Retail News

Shake Shack to Open on Central Avenue Plus More Retail News

Though many people are out of town, we took a trip around town to s...

A Mid East Feast For All The Senses At Fez Turkish Meze

A Mid East Feast For All The Senses At Fez Turkish Meze

Do the words grape leaves, pomegranate molasses, sumac, pine nuts, ...

first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

Board of Education Reviews Budget and Addresses New Allocation

choiceIn its fourth budget study session, held this past Monday, the Scarsdale Board of Education and school administration provided a full review of the proposed budget as it currently stands.

Assistant Superintendent for Business and Facilities Stuart Mattey began the overview by addressing some questions posed by the public, including an explanation of the year-over-year increase in the special education budget, a justification for not deferring facility project items to save money in a particular budget year, and the plan for the CHOICE building at Scarsdale Middle School, which will not house students beginning next year.

Mattey then reiterated the budget process for residents who may be unaware. Remaining public budget sessions include a League of Women Voters information session on Monday, March 12, a district forum on Tuesday, March 13, and a discussion at the next BOE meeting on Monday, March 19. The board plans on voting to adopt the proposed budget on Monday, April 16.

Mattey also addressed specific budget components such as enrollment, staffing, expenses and revenue. Enrollment is projected to be flat in 2018-19, increasing by just four students. District staffing currently is projected to increase by 2.4 FTE's.

The expense budget is estimated at $156,899,407, which is a 2.09 percent increase over last year, or $3,208, 642. The largest expense component is employee benefits, which total $36,851,470. Employee benefits also account for the largest line item increase in the budget, increasing by $1,583,514 or 4.49 percent.

Revenues are projected at $156,899,407, which represents a 1.83 percent increase year over year. The main driver of the increase is building aid related to the 2014 bond projects, which is estimated to rise by 3 percent. Interest earnings also are expected to improve by more than $214,000 over last year.

The tax levy is estimated to increase by $2,922,514 (or 2.07 percent) over 2017-18, for total levy of $144,412,640. The tax levy limit is 3.08 percent and the draft budget is $1,429,955 below the projected limit.

The board then discussed the administration's request for an additional $250,000 for security enhancements (building and technology upgrades) and the hire of a director of security, which were discussed earlier in the evening. The amount was not included in the budget numbers as of yet, and, if treated as an add-on, would increase the expense budget by 2.25 percent.

Schools Superintendent Thomas Hagerman said, "There were conversations about ideas and thoughts relative to safety and security... We want to have more detailed security information (and) someone who can coordinate, interface with children and staff, someone who conduct safety activities/drills, someone with expertise and liaison experience with police, etc." He continued, "We need to have a more coordinated approach to this work... I don't see this being a high stakes investment for the next decade, but over the next couple of years, in order to do this right."

The board then considered two questions, should the proposed safety measures be funded and, if so, how? Board Vice President Scott Silberfein said, "I have no problem with increasing the budget line... to accomplish whatever it is you believe (necessary)... I would obviously like some clarity... but (building and technology improvements are) easier for me to get my hands around, knowing that we're going to have to do some of this stuff." Board President Bill Natbony stated, "We have a recommendation from the administration to spend $250,000 next year... (it) is very well-articulated, with known costs. I very much think this has to be done." He then asked the board as a whole, "Do we have a consensus to add this to the budget?" With no board members objecting, the allocation was approved.

The discussion next shifted to how the allocation would be funded, and if it would be treated as an add-in, covered by reserves or paid through eliminating another line item. Silberfein said, "I think we easily can find $250,000 in the reserves without exposing ourselves to risk in any meaningful way or influencing taxes." Natbony agreed, "I wouldn't want to take something away... I can be comfortable with taking the funds from reserves."

Board Member Pam Fuehrer added, "Considering a flexible and responsive budgeting process, saying that a 2.09 percent increase that we saw in January is important today... after weeks of discussion, is not genuine. To say we can be flexible and allow us go to 2.25 is what this is this is about. I don't have a problem saying... is this expense critical, necessary? Yes. Timely? Yes. Then, let's add it to our budget." Silberfein responded, "I agree with everything you just said... I personally think we have plenty of reserves (to cover the cost), especially for a high need like security."

The board then turned the issue over to the school administration to determine the best means to cover the security cost. The administration is asked to decide funding by the next board meeting.

Following the discussion, the board and administration addressed questions raised in the public comment portion of the meeting, which took place earlier. Specifically, they explained how the new security recommendations were developed, covered the timing of security vestibule construction (which will remain unchanged), and provided reassurance that the district's wellness initiatives are meeting the emotional health needs of students, on a school-by-school basis.

Not addressed, but noted, were budget questions sent to the board and administration to help guide preparation for the upcoming League of Women Voters budget information session. Leah Dembitzer (Mamaroneck Road), chair of the league's budget study committee, reminded the public that the session is scheduled for 10:00 am on Monday, March 12.

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

Good Work

SETTING

SHS Senior Sends Books to South Africa

SHS Senior Sends Books to South Africa

Soon to be senior at Scarsdale High School Zach Hoexter has undertaken an ambitious project to bring books to children in South Africa. L...

Read More

Around Town

SETTING

Shake Shack to Open on Central Avenue Plus More Retail News

Shake Shack to Open on Central Avenue Plus More Retail News

Though many people are out of town, we took a trip around town to see what August had to hold.

First, we noticed that a large Shake Shack ...

Read More

Neighborhood News

SETTING

LimeBikes Show Up On Scarsdale Streets

LimeBikes Show Up On Scarsdale Streets

Have you seen any green and yellow bikes on sidewalks or lawns around town? It turns out that LimeBike is testing their dockless bikes in...

Read More

On Our Minds

SETTING

Iceland: the New Frontier in Travel

Iceland: the New Frontier in Travel

If you’re looking for a new frontier to explore, a country with a beautiful city and even more breathtaking landscapes, plus a noticeably...

Read More

On Our Radar

SETTING

Scarsdale Swimmers Take Medals at the Conference Championships

Scarsdale Swimmers Take Medals at the Conference Championships

Brendan Lee, Justin DiSanto, Michael Disanto (all Scarsdale) and Jason Amato (Eastchester) swam in the 17Y Conference Relay Scarsdale swim...

Read More

Parenting

SETTING

Off to College: Advice for Parents of College Freshman

Off to College: Advice for Parents of College Freshman

With move-in day just weeks away, many parents will soon be taking their college freshman to college and then leaving them there on their...

Read More

Village Voices

SETTING

New Restaurants Opening and Infrastructure Improvements in Process: News from the Village Board

New Restaurants Opening and Infrastructure Improvements in Process: News from the Village Board

Despite the dog days of summer, Scarsdale continues to move ahead, as reported at this week’s board of trustees meeting.

In his remarks, S...

Read More

Shout it Out

SETTING

Procedure Committee Calls for Comments on Proposed Changes to the Non-Partisan Resolution

Procedure Committee Calls for Comments on Proposed Changes to the Non-Partisan Resolution

This letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 by Madelaine Eppenstein and Eric Cheng from the Procedure Committee :

To the Editor:

The Procedure Co...

Read More

School News

SETTING

Advice on Standardized Testing from a Recent Scarsdale Grad

Advice on Standardized Testing from a Recent Scarsdale Grad

As the new school year approaches, many students are beginning to contemplate a dreaded part of high school: standardized testing. In thi...

Read More

Schools

SETTING

Butler Field To Close Due to Safety Concerns

Butler Field To Close Due to Safety Concerns

It seems that the debate about the replacement of Butler Field went on too long. Though the Scarsdale Board of Education approved a plan ...

Read More

The Goods

SETTING

Crickets, Collagen and Cauliflower: Food Trends of the Year

Crickets, Collagen and Cauliflower: Food Trends of the Year

Early this summer I attended the 2018 Fancy Food Show in Manhattan to learn about current and upcoming food trends and sampled so much th...

Read More

Real Estate

SETTING

A Busy Week for Realtors

A Busy Week for Realtors

Another very busy week for realtors with many sales in both Scarsdale and Edgemont. See what sold below:

Sales:
50 Harvest Drive
Light-fille...

Read More

Today's News

SETTING

Electrical Fire Breaks Out in Murray Hill Road Kitchen

Electrical Fire Breaks Out in Murray Hill Road Kitchen

An electrical fire broke out in the kitchen of a Murray Hill Road house. Firefighters were called to the scene by an automatic fire alarm...

Read More

Arts and Entertainment

SETTING

A Mid East Feast For All The Senses At Fez Turkish Meze

A Mid East Feast For All The Senses At Fez Turkish Meze

Do the words grape leaves, pomegranate molasses, sumac, pine nuts, kibbeh, tabbouleh and baklava make your taste buds sing? If they do, p...

Read More

People

SETTING

Julius Reich Sentenced to 20 Years for Stabbing Death of Robin Goldman

Julius Reich Sentenced to 20 Years for Stabbing Death of Robin Goldman

( From the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office ) Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. announced on 8-15-...

Read More

first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

Programs for Scarsdale Kids