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S. Huntington School Administrators Accept Freeze

Shea outlines tough budget for next school year.

Administrators in the South Huntington school district have voted to freeze their salaries for next year, Superintendent Thomas Shea said Wednesday.

Karen Siegel, Countrywood principal and president of the South Huntington Administrators Association, said the 25 members of the organization, “Did it for the district, given these difficult economic times.”

Shea made the announcement during a budget walkthrough leading up to the May 15 public vote.

The teachers union rejected the freeze outside of further contract negotiations, as did the nurses and paraprofessionals.

The freeze requests are driven by the state mandated 2 percent cap on the tax levy, the amount the district needs to budget.

Multiple scenarios and figures were covered in the presentation, including the money needed to fund all programs operations exactly the same way as this year ($146,969,178 and a budget increase of 4.79%), and a projection that tax cap spending increase means a rise of $4,234,144. That latter figure means the increase would actually raise spending 4.22% because of capital improvements bond that was approved in 2003 and spread spending out over 10 years.

Shea also said that the district is reviewing school hours to see whether schedule changes could mean lower transportation costs through combined routes and staggered shifts. He also said the district is moving to reduce some costs by shifting to technology such as e-mail and more careful monitoring of the use of paper.

But, as he has been in the past, Shea was critical of state decisions to force reductions in school budgets. “This is not sustainable,” he said, referring to the cuts brought about by the tax cap. “There isn’t that much left to cut.”

Upcoming Budget Workshops and Vote

March 14  
  Transportation March 21   Programs, Instructions and Staffing I March 28   Programs, Instructions and Staffing II April 4   Budget Adoption May 8   Public Meeting on Budget May 15   Budget Vote
joey March 14, 2012 at 02:08 PM
http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/east-end-educators-to-ponder-consolidation-1.3600523 Seems like school districts are finally realizing that consolidation might be the key since we are overstocked with Admins. on LI. The only thing silly is to get state aid to study this. In the long run schools need to combine and reduce cost,overhead staff and benefits for life.
Mary March 15, 2012 at 11:38 PM
NCAA rules prohibit athletic scholarships at Division 3 colleges http://www.collegeconfidential.com/dean/archives/athletic-scholarship-for-div-3-athlete.htm
joey March 15, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Hey Mary we can go and post as many articles as the one below where yes you can benefit as I know of someone who is in Div III. The fact remains it doesn't matter as sports has always been a part of the public school systems and has proven to have benefits to academics; many studies show active kids excel in grades and oh yes get them off the street after school. http://www.usnews.com/education/articles/2009/07/17/do-division-iii-schools-give-athletic-scholarships
Kirstin March 16, 2012 at 12:41 AM
@Joey...FYI, many(if not all) of the assemblies that our kids attend are paid for by each school's PTA from their Cultural Arts budget. Hence, all of the fundraising events held throughout the school year. With regards to sports...last year they cut the golf and the bowling teams from the budget...does anyone recall that a few weeks after the budget vote there was a garage sale fundraiser held at Birchwood by the Booster club to specifically benefit these sports that were cut. Since cuts do indeed have to be made why not look at sports over educational programs? Last year they cut the Challenge and Beyond programs from our schools (the Gifted and Talented programs). However, unlike the Golf and Bowling teams, parents are not allowed to fundraise to pay for what essentially amounts to a teacher's salary in order to keep our gifted and talented program. Let the Booster club support the sports; children are offered scholarships based on their academic performance and not just how well they can play a particular sport.
joey March 16, 2012 at 02:03 AM
@kirstin yes PTA has fundraisers as do Catholic schools for many programs. Nothing wrong in trying to raise extra funds. I think what we need to answer is what is public school? what is required? The programs you stated that were cut for sports are the bare minimum and easy to raise funds for. Looking at the history of LI and sports in high school including its own cable channel MSG Varsity channel 714 the sports programs like Football and basketball are not being touched and for a good reason. Many could attack sports as being non essential but it is more essential than many realize. Let's first look at the salaries and benefits of the public employees www.seethroughny.net to save instead of good programs that benefit kids. Why is it this year the proposal for V. Principals and Administrators are being cut but not one word about the sports programs at Whitman. It would be very difficult to cut those programs. If we had a system of tuition and extra costs for activities than maybe the argument can be made to itemize the costs but we don't we have a public school system where everyone throws money in the pot. And even with a big pot adding more money for education doesn't always mean smarter kids. We spend more than any other country in the world on education and yet still are lagging behind. Its not about deficient educational money but parents involvement in the education process.

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