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Mt. Pleasant Presents Part One of School Budget

THORNWOOD, N.Y. – Superintendent Susan Guiney presented a proposed 2012-13 non-instructional portion of the budget Monday night for the Mount Pleasant Central School District that totaled approximately $19 million and showed a budget-to-budget increase of more than $187,000 from the previous year.

The non-instructional portion includes items such as building fees, pension costs for non-instructors, board of education fees and along with the instructional portion makes up the entire school budget.  Guiney said the drafting process of the proposed budget was different than in years past, as the district must deal with the state mandated 2 percent tax levy increase cap.

“In year’s past what we usually do is reach out to faculty members and staff and see what their needs are and then go back to the previous year’s budget and work along that,” Guiney said at the presentation in the Westlake High School library.  “But this year we sort of had to back in to the budget with the state cap.”

The district saw the biggest budget-to-budget increase from last year in the area of mandated pension costs where they will spend a total of $11.3 million with an increase of $527,500 from the previous budget.  The district was able to cut a significant amount of costs in areas of the budget such as operation costs, taxes and assessments and debt service fees.

Guiney said that although parents in the district may not be as concerned with the non-instructional portion of the budget as they are with the instructional portion, it is just as important.

“Some parents say that they don’t really care about the costs of our mops and utilities and things like that,” Guiney said.  “But these are just as important in making sure that everything within our district works smoothly.”

Guiney said the district hopes to adopt a budget within the 2 percent tax levy cap and that by doing so, it will raise the tax rate for reach household in Mount Pleasant by 2.89 percent, or around $218 per year for an average assessed home.  By staying within the cap, Guiney said it will likely result in the district cutting 10 to 12 staff members.

The proposed 2012-13 instructional budget will be presented by Guiney at the Westlake High School library on Wednesday, March 21 at 8 p.m.  The budget will be adopted by the board of education on April 4 and will be voted on by the residents on May 15.

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