May 14, 2014: Village residents will go to the polls on May 20 to vote on The Bronxville School's $46.2 million budget for 2014-2015.
Presented for a legally required public hearing during the Bronxville Board of Education's May 8 meeting, the budget represents a 1.65 percent tax levy increase over the 2013-2014 budget and is within the calculated allowable tax levy cap of 1.9 percent. The budget is $97,000 less than that cap.
Dan Carlin, assistant superintendent for business, noted that, although personnel costs, retirement system contributions, and health insurance costs initially increased the budget by approximately 2.4 percent, the district was able to reduce several contractual services costs, such as custodial overtime and copying, to bring the overall budget increase to within the allowable tax levy cap.
Because the district anticipates receiving $6 million in revenues other than property taxes, primarily state aid and tuition from other districts, property taxes will fund $40.2 million of the 2014-2015 budget.
Based on the 2014 final assessment roll of $2.8 billion, an approximate increase of $29 million over the 2013 roll, the budget amount to be funded by property taxes, and the tax levy, Bronxville property owners can expect to pay $14.28 per $1,000 in assessed value in 2014-2015. The tax rate reflects an increase of .61 percent over the 2013-2014 tax rate of $14.2 per $1,000 in assessed value.
"The story of this budget and some of our issues begins with what has gone on with enrollment for the last few years," Carlin stated. Projected enrollment for 2014-2015, he said, will be 12.2 percent higher than enrollment in 2010-2011. The student body has increased by almost 200 students since 2010-2011, with 2013-2014 enrollment reaching a record high of over 1,700 students. Carlin emphasized that, for the most part, that increase has not been compensated for by an increase in staff, until now. The new budget will add one full-time-equivalent kindergarten teacher.
Dr. David Katz, president of the Bronxville Teachers' Association and a middle school social studies teacher, noted that, while the BTA supports that the 2014-2015 budget will not require a tax cap override, retirement incentives offered in recent years have resulted in a reduced teaching staff, since many of the teachers who accepted the incentives were not replaced.
"The truth of the matter is, the people doing the work to ensure the quality of teaching and learning in the school has been ours," Katz said, speaking on behalf of his fellow teachers. "Larger class sizes have been a direct result of increased enrollment with no increases in teaching staff."
PTA president Margaret Mager expressed support for the budget on behalf of Bronxville parents. "You'll recall that, at the beginning of the school year, I shared with you that parents had concerns about rising enrollment as well as the implementation of the Core Curriculum," she said to the board. "We feel you have done a tremendous job incorporating those two points into the 2014-2015 budget and want to thank you for your work."
The annual vote and election of school trustees will be held on Tuesday, May 20, in the multipurpose room from 7:00 am until 9:00 pm. The Bronxville Board of Education will hold a special meeting at approximately 9:30 pm.
The next regular meeting of the Bronxville Board of Education will be on Thursday, June 19, at 7:00 pm in the multipurpose room.
Pictured here (L to R): Board member Ruth Wood, board vice president Denise Tormey, board president David Brashear, Superintendent Dr. David Quattrone, and board members Jeff Rohr, Pierre de Saint Phalle, and Dr. James Hudson.
Photo by Carol Bartold