Glen Cove School District Holds Budget Workshop

Deputy Superintendent Kevin Wurtz led the discussion in the first budget review workshop of the season.

The Glen Cove Board of Education held its first budget workshop at Monday night to discuss developments for the 2011-2012 school season.

On April 11, the board will adopt a budget for 2011-2012. Superintendent Dr. Joseph Laria said there will be no extensions.

“There’s a method to how we’re unfolding this,” he said. “We’re zooming in. By the time we have reached next week, we’re well in excess of [developing] 40 percent of the budget. Bottom line, we have not found anything yet of major cuts.”

Deputy Superintendent Kevin Wurtz lead the workshop using projector slides, pointing out where major increases will be dealt in areas such as NYS retirement, Social Security/FICA and Workers Compensation.

Health insurance and employee benefits were two budgets that differed greatly between this year and next. Health insurance for 2011-12 was proposed at approximately $9 million, $1 million more than 2010-11. Employee benefits weighed in at $16.4 million, an almost $2 million increase.

Life, disability and dental insurance, on the other hand, were areas projected to experience decreases.

The public was given a copy of the budget draft, outlining what to expect in the coming weeks.

The board’s guidelines to developing a budget for the City of Glen Cove included the following.

The budget should be viewed as the: master plan for the year’s educational program, device for carrying out the plan, and educational plan expressed in dollars and cents.

All aspects of the district’s institutional and support operations should be analyzed. “No ‘sacred cows,’ ‘ox goring,’ or ‘dig hole in another backyard syndrome,’” according to the packet.

It was also suggested by the board that educational soundness be balanced with fiscal economy.

“Progressive but pragmatic, ambitious but realistic, think with head and heart, and multiplying needs versus shrinking resources (set priorities),” according to the guidelines.

Lastly, the board encouraged the public to remember the larger context: “our district’s economy is part of the global economy, the economy changes while we plan, and scarcity is a hardship we share with our colleagues and the taxpayers, not a wound we inflict on each other.”

The contents of the meeting – which was open to the public – brought worry to one Glen Cove resident, who wished to remain anonymous.

“As a parent of a freshman, it’s very scary,” she said. “We don’t know what the future is going to hold. I’m nervous.”

Not only is this parent scared about the upcoming budget season, but also her kids.

“They’re afraid their future is not going to have much left for them,” she said.

The next budget review workshop will be held on Monday, March 14. The board will be discussing finance, pupil transportation, plant and facilities.


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