ARMONK, N.Y. – First-year Byram Hills School District Superintendent Bill Donohue proposed a $83.8 million plan for the 2013-14 school year last week, which stands as a 4.2 percent spending increase from 2012-13.
Donohue’s first budget follows through on his top three budget goals, which were falling under the state’s tax levy, maintaining all current programming and keeping an eye on the future to avoid drastic tax spikes for homeowners in the district.
Though the new budget represents a 4.2 percent increase from last year’s budget, school officials stated the district would fall under the state-mandated tax levy, which is the lesser of 2 percent or the rate of inflation.
Although all current programs are included under the new budget, so are staff reductions.
Planned reductions include a full-time teaching position, a .6 music teaching position at Wampus Elementary School, a full-time teacher position at H.C. Crittenden Middle School and a .4 administrative technology position.
However, Donohue said such cuts are connected to a decline in enrollment.
The new budget also calls for staff increases, with 1.2 full-time positions at Byram Hills High School. This stays in line with Donohue’s explanation, as the high school will see an increase of 27 students even though the district enrollment will decrease by 46 students overall.
Because of various factors, including district growth, Byram Hills will have a tax levy ceiling of 3.6 percent in 2013-14. Even if no changes are made to Donohue’s initial proposal, it would squeeze under the levy.
Further details as to how all the math works out will be explained at the school board’s next meet on March 19, when estimated tax rates and projected tax levy are scheduled to be released.