The Mt. Sinai School District went through a rough budget season in 2012, with an original, cap-busting $55.4 million budget that included a tax levy increase of 4.76 percent falling short of a supermajority.
Additional cuts were made, and a revised budget with a levy increase down at the cap of 2.13 percent passed with 67 percent approval. With almost a year under new Superintendent Enrico Crocetti’s belt, he and the Board of Education will look to have a smoother budget process this year and have already held a budget workshop to initiate the process. The first hearing did not touch on instructional and staff changes, typically the most controversial points for voters.
Taking a look at state aid estimated in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget, Mt. Sinai would see a slight increase in aid of $367,725, or 2.53 percent. While it’s an increase, Crocetti doesn’t look at it as very significant.
“Yes we did get a little bit more, but it’s not all that helpful,” he said. “It’s kind of like getting a little bit more on your tax return. It’s not going to change the course of the ship, but it does help us a little bit.”
Estimated increases include BOCES and special services, hardware and technology, software, library and textbook and transportation. Total aid for 2013-14 is estimated at $14,884,300.
“I think people misunderstand what an increase in state aid is,” Crocetti said. “It is not dramatic and it’s not sustainable, so you’re not going to hire somebody for a lost position, for example, because that person wouldn’t be able to stay on for next year. Cuomo made it clear that this is not sustainable.”