EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – The Bronxville Board of Education has been hard at work over the past month on the school budget, trimming more than $70,000 to bring the district even closer to the tax cap.
The $46.29 million school budget, as presently constituted, stands $30,167 over the mandated tax levy cap of 1.9 percent, according to Assistant Superintendent Dan Carlin.
The board, like their contemporaries in other districts, continues to be handcuffed by escalating unfunded mandates. With the final figures for health insurance contributions now set, the board can continue finalizing the budget.
Superintendent David Quattrone said that very little of the overall budget is discretionary. More than 75 percent of the budget is comprised of salaries and benefits.
“Salaries, benefits and contracted services alone account for the full increase in expenditures,” he said. “Mandated employer contributions to pensions remain a key driver.”
This year’s budget focused on several key points, which included managing expected enrollment increases and addressing changes to curriculum that need to be addressed due to the new state Common Core Learning Standards.
In an effort to comply with the new learning standards, there will be rotating electives at the high school to limit the number of under-enrolled classes, and fifth graders will spend more time developing science and technological skills.
To accommodate the enrollment increases, and to control class sizes, the district intends to add an extra second-grade section, bringing class size down to 21 students per class.
The Board will present the budget to the public at its next meeting, on Thursday, March 20. No programs are expected to be cut or reduced.
“We recognize that this is a community that is committed to excellence in our schools, and expects a top-tier program on all levels,” Board President David Brashear said at the last meeting. “We also recognize the tax burden driven by our schools is substantial. District spending must be managed tightly.”