Shoreham-Wading River to give budget presentation tonight

SAMANTHA BRIX FILE PHOTO | Michael Fucito and Bill McGrath, right, of the Shoreham-Wading River Board of Education.

The Shoreham-Wading River superintendent will highlight the “diversity of the rollover budget” during a summary of the district’s proposed 2012-13 school budget at a school board meeting Tuesday night.

Superintendent Steven Cohen said the administration was told to maintain a “rollover” budget, which preserves programs and district services, while also keeping the district within the state-mandated tax cap.

The board-adopted $62.35 million budget, a 3.98 percent spending increase from last year’s spending plan, allows the district to continue all 43 electives in subjects like business, art, science and music. District residents will vote on the budget Tuesday, May 15.

To stay within the tax cap, which limits the total amount the district can levy from taxpayers at a 1.75 percent increase from last year, the district will pull $3.75 million from its reserve funds as tax relief, about double the amount from the 2011-12 school year.

The reserve funds will be tapped into once the fund balance — the unspent funds from the previous years’ budget from savings such as reduced heating costs in the warm winter — is depleted, Mr. Cohen said. The district has about $16 million left among the various funds.

Thanks to an increase in state aid, the district has added a $427,341 capital fund budget line, which would be used to fix the district’s aging buildings and facilities.

“[The capital fund line] denotes a strong commitment on the part of the board to make necessary repairs and improvements,” Mr. Cohen said. The new line represents nearly 16 percent of the total budget increase.

The meeting will be held at Briarcliff Elementary School in the all-purpose room at 7 p.m. and is open to the public. The board will also go on a “walk-through” of Briarcliff Elementary School before the meeting to inspect facilities.

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