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 VoteMarch 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