North Babylon School District Superintendent Patricia Godek laid out a draft of the 2013-14 district budget totaling $111.8 million Tuesday evening.
"We need to focus on the future of North Babylon," said Godek to the roughly 75 people in attendance at North Babylon High School's Little Theater. "This draft aims to do that."
The superintendent estimated a tax levy for the upcoming school year of roughly 2.7 percent, busting through the state-mandated cap of 2 percent for a total of almost $59.9 million coming from the residents of North Babylon.
While the state reported a near 4.5 percent increase in aid for the state, Godek explained that Gov. Andrew Cuomo's numbers for North Babylon were off due to an underestimation by the state, leaving the district with a roughly 1.46 percent increase for the upcoming school year, or just $577,896 more in aid than the 2012-2013 year for a total of roughly $39.7 million.
Many of the increases in the budget are due to fixed increases, including teacher and employee retirement funds, benefits and other contractual obligations, increasing by about 3.4 percent or $3.6 million.
The total combined amounts leaves a budget of roughly $110.9 million, a $1.5 million deficit below the estimate $109.4 million of revenue for the school year.
"We would be unable to sustain current levels of programs and services," Godek noted in her presentation.
In addition, Godek urged the continued building of the future for the district by equalizing class sizes in the elementary school, maintenance of programs and services, restructuring the administration, common core standard upgrades and additional security. The addition of these items, however, would add an additional $1.45 million to the budget.
Godek said the district could make reductions in other categories to help offset these increased costs, including refinancing of bonds and re-purposing some teachers.
The final total for the superintendent's draft leaves a budget of $111.8 million, or a deficit of more $2 million for the district.
Godek concluded by noting the presentation was a draft and encouraged parents to give their input at more budget meetings as the Board of Education cranks the numbers over the next few months.
"This is not an easy task ahead of us," School Board President Janet Meyerson said. "We've got work to do."
The next North Babylon budget meeting will take place on Feb. 26.