The Garden City School District is jumping head first into budget planning for the 2013-2014 school year.
Superintendent of schools Dr. Robert Feirsen and assistant superintendent for business and finance Albert Chase presented the administration’s proposed spending plan Tuesday during the first of several budget work sessions.
These are “one of the more deep discussions,” said Feirsen, acknowledging the challenges the district is facing this year. The superintendent discussed the probability of cuts in order to maintain the delicate balance. “This is not a budget bursting with optimism.” he said.
Possible cuts are not specific to Garden City alone. According to school officials, more than 60 districts in New York State are unable to pay their bills and risk being insolvent. “It’s a regional problem, a statewide problem,” Feirsen said.
The proposed program budget stands at $107,930,252, a 3.56 percent increase over last year. Budget-to-budget increase for 2013-2014 equals approximately $3,714,724 (3.56 percent from last year) and a projected tax levy increase of 3.86 percent. The maximum allowable tax levy for 2013-2014 now stands at 3.91 percent.
"Everything needs to be in balance,” said Chase as he presented the sources of revenue. “Property taxes are over 85 percent of the entire budget,” he explained. “Garden City ranks among the top in the country. “The situation hasn’t changed.”
The next meeting of the Board of Education will take place at Garden City High School Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 8:15 p.m.