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Smithtown Schools Facing $4.5M Deficit for 2013-14 Budget

Superintendent Anthony Annunziato presented his first 2013-14 budget overview to the Board of Education and parents on Tuesday.

The Smithtown Central School District will have to close a $4.5 million deficit for the 2013-14 budget, with expenditures for the district increasing by roughly $11.9 million.

There is a 5.54-percent spending increase from the current budget to next year's possible $222.7 million budget. Included in the spending increase are salaries, pension, health insurance, BOCES special education and more.

Some of the highest increases that make up the $11.9 million increase in spending include salaries, which are set to increase by roughly $2.6 million, a $7.8 million increase in benefits, $1.2 million for BOCES, and $695,347 in contractual expenditures.

The district is still waiting on final health insurance rates, the TRS rate, the amount of state aid the district would receive and the tax cap calculation to accurately figure out the final budget projection.

Board President Gladys Waldron said after Tuesday's meeting that this budget season and figuring out where to make cuts to save money is going to be scary. 

"You can't cut electricity. You can't do the light, you can't do the heat. That's where the money is, program. And what's program? Program is a teacher in front of the kids," she said.

Waldron said the only open contract left to close with the district is the nurses contract.

The board of education and district administration will hold its first budget hearing Feb. 5.

Sticks60 January 27, 2013 at 10:17 PM
Good question, Maybe you can ask the question of what are the unfunded mandates and at what cost to the district. We must remember even if the state funds the mandate the money only comes from our tax dollars going through Albany.
Norm Allen January 28, 2013 at 12:26 AM
You are all correct about the benefits packages... But understand that all of the School district employees pay into the cost of family healthcare coverage ... while Town employees do not. According to the Governor it is the police and firefighters whoseretirement system expenses are increasing the most.... As for the school district.. Building administrators took a full freeze for a year and a half... The teachers and civil service staff also slowed down their increases...There are really very few places to cut in Smithtown.
Argile January 28, 2013 at 01:27 AM
I agree scsddad. Pam should be on the ballot!
Sticks60 January 28, 2013 at 03:44 PM
Benefits WOW! This year that is the budget killer. The members of the STA will be paying 16.5% of the cost of their health care next year. That is half of what the best private sector pays. In addition the coverage is far more costly then private plans because it pays almost all costs. In addition what private company will be contribution up to 16.5% towards retirement pay? On average next year between pension and SSI the average cost to the disrict will be $24,000 per teacher. Obviously more for administrators.
DLee January 29, 2013 at 12:22 AM
The teacher bashing on this thread is a little sad. I think the Smithtown community is lucky to have a majority of the teachers who work in the District. You can't expect them not to fight for their own salary and benefits. They live on Long Island, too. They have families and public school taxes, too. Calling teachers part-time employees who don't deserve their salaries because they do "stupid" work is a wholly-ignorant statement. Who are you to judge someone else's job?

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