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Mineola School Budget Getting Closer to Tax Cap Limit

School district to trim $89,000 from 2012-13 budget by April 17 meeting.

The Mineola School District is getting closer to coming in at the required tax levy cap for the 2012-13 budget, presenting the  at the  during the regular meeting of the  on March 15.

When computed, the district has a tax  which equates to a $1,443,803 increase. The 2011-12 tax levy was $74,798,377 and the 2012-13 limit is $76,242,180. Adding in expected state aid as of March 1 of $4,970,000 and other income of $2,130,000 totals $7.1 million, making the amount that the total budget cannot exceed $83,342,180 according to Mineola Assistant Superintendent of Finance Jack Waters. The current second draft for the 2012-13 budget is $83,431,100, which is in excess of the cap by $88,920.

The district is set to adopt the budget for the 2012-13 school year in line with the cap during its meeting on April 17.

During the 2011-12 school year the district had a $2.1 million transfer from its savings account into the budget. Waters was quick to point out that it was not a levy expense but was using the fund balance which was replenished at the end of the 2011 fiscal year.

In 2012-13 the district is recommending a $600,000 transfer for the  and the .

“We already have $500,000 transferred for Meadow, this would be an additional $300,000 which would take care of the Meadow Library addition,” Waters said, with the other $300,000 for the Jackson bus loop.

That would make the total 2012-13 budget $83,942,180, which does not change the levy cap because it is a transfer from savings. The total 2011-12 budget is $84,221,638, and the 2012-13 number represents a decrease in spending of $279,458 or .03 percent.

“The intention would be when we close the books at the end of this June (2012) we replenish fund balance that will be surplus this year so the $600,000 goes right back in when we close the books,” Waters said.

The 2012-13 budget reflects two administrative retirements, one teacher retirement, and cuts of two maintenance positions. The positions affected by the retirements are not being filled.

All step increases for eligible employees were included in the budget and there was no change in programs. An  for the district was also included.

The revenue portion of the budget did not include any rental for Willis at the time but does include the .

The updated draft does not reflect staffing changes as a result of closing Willis Avenue in September 2012 or special education costs for 2012-13.

“Staffing discussions are still going on,” Waters said. “We still have a little bit of work to do.”

The staffing from Willis Avenue also includes initiatives the district is adding such as the science initiative and shifts in the reduction of staff, Superintendent Dr. Michael Nagler said. “We’re going to balance the next budget with what we want to add for staff and what we’re going to take away with the closing of Willis so we’ll have that net in the next calculation; it won’t be a wash but it will be a reduction.”

Geoffrey Walter (Editor) April 05, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Where do you think the district can find the ~ $89,000 to get the 2012-13 budget to the level set by the tax levy cap?
Artie Barnett April 05, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Neither the revenue from the Willis Ave. School lease or the staff reductions from Willis were included in this budget presentation. Once those are included the district should be under the 1.93% levy cap.
Geoffrey Walter (Editor) April 06, 2012 at 02:12 AM
There have been retirements in the administrative positions, one teacher retirement and cuts to two maintenance positions. No other outright cuts or reductions to staff have been announced by the district or the board of education.
Geoffrey Walter (Editor) April 06, 2012 at 03:54 PM
This is most likely related to the reconfiguration of the district and closing of Willis Avenue. The district is looking at moving teachers around when that building closes. We will reach out to the district for clarification.
Geoffrey Walter (Editor) April 06, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Deleted comments contained questions regarding teacher excessing in Mineola, with the person writing that they had heard from a teacher that 10 teachers were to be excessed. We reached out to Mineola Superintendent Dr. Michael Nagler for clarification. The teachers’ contract requires the superintendent to notify teachers by April 1 if they MAYBE excessed otherwise they cannot be excessed. As a precautionary measure (in case the budget fails), 10 teachers were notified by the superintendent that they MAYBE excessed. Only one teacher received an actual excess notice. Dr. Nagler delivered the letters personally and explained the situation to each teacher.

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