School Budget votes take place Tuesday and Rocky Point residents will flock to the poll to for the 2012-'13 fiscal year.
The newly installed New York State tax levy cap adds a new wrinkle to school budgets this year. Districts are not allowed to increase the tax levy by over two percent (exact number varies per district), and if they do, the budget can only pass by a supermajority of 60 percent.
Rocky Point will be piercing the tax levy cap. The cap for the district is 1.84 percent, and the budget includes a levy increase of 3.2 percent. Because of this, the budget will need to pass by the supermajority. Last year's budget passed by a 67 percent supermajority, before a cap was in place.
In the proposed budget:
- Regular state aid will increase by $605,035 (3.15 percent).
- The total revenue increase is $2,061,434 (2.97 percent).
- All curricular and co-curricular programs are retained.
- An additional five Advanced Placement courses will be available.
- The district's Next STEP initiative continues.
If the budget does not pass by a supermajority of 60 percent, and the tax levy had to be held to the cap of 1.84 percent, the district estimates it would need an additional $600,000 in cuts, including:
- Move to half-day Kindergarten (Removal of 5.5 full-time employees)
- Reduction of an additional 8 full-time employees.
- Eliminate Middle School sports.
- Eliminate all co-curricular activities at , and .
In addition to the budget, residents will place their votes in the Board of Education Trustee Election.
The seats of John Lessler and Scott Reh are up for election and both will be running for reelection. Two new candidates, Edward Casswell and Aisha Grundmann, will run for the seats. Click here for video from Meet the Candidates night on BOE.TV.
A graduate of Rocky Point High School, Reh has lived in the community for 43 years. He is currently employed as the Director of Athletics, Physical
Education, Health, Nursing, and Grounds in the Mount Sinai School District. Reh
has been elected to the Board since winning a special election for the 2010-2011 school year.
A Rocky Point alum, Lessler has been a community member for 27 years and a member of the Board of Education since 2009. He works as a land and
management specialist for the Town of Brookhaven.
Grundmann is a parent of two who said she wants to assist in bringing the District’s schools to a higher level of excellence. She looks to continue the
Board’s mission of delivering programs that increase student achievement.
Casswell has been a Rocky Point resident for 21 years and currently serves as the President of the Suffolk County High School Principals Association and Principal of Center Moriches High School.
Polls open at 7 a.m. at the Gymnasium, and close at 9 p.m.