The Board of Education will ask voters on Tuesday to approve a $24.64 million budget for 2012-13, which falls under the cap on tax levy increases but also chops teaching positions and interscholastic sports.
The proposed budget is $208,000, or .84 percent, less than the current school year's budget, but demands a property tax rate increase of 3.19 percent, and sets the tax rate at $88.97 per $100 of assessed value, up from $86.22 in the 2011-12 budget.
A tax levy increase of 2.97 percent is a figure allowed under the new law due to some exemptions.
In order to stay under the state-mandated cap and avoid asking voters to pierce it, the board made $791,969 worth of cuts to existing programs, including the elimination of nearly six teaching positions and two teaching assistants.
The cuts have also left seventh and eighth grade students' parents scrambling to organize a booster club to raise and funnel money to the district to pay for kids to play middle school, junior varsity, or varsity sports in the East Hampton School District.
All Springs-sponsored sports (soccer, basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball, and tennis) will continue to be offered. High School students' participation in sports is not impacted.
Janice Varizi told the board she is trying to figure out how to ensure her son can play football next year. "Other parents may need to step up," she said.
Parent Mary McPartland agreed. She also noted that the cuts to the Springs budget may have an affect on the high school teams.
Superintendent Michael Hartner explained that the district has paid between $412 and $940 on average per student for positions on teams at Springs and East Hampton High School, which includes transporatation and association fees. Bussing accounts for 25 percent of the costs, but can't be cut altogether at it would discriminate against children whose parents can't drive them, Hartner said.
On average, $412 per Springs School student for each sport, and paid a total of $81,000 for 197 in 2010-11 (The number reflects the number of spots on teams, as students may play multiple sports).
During the 2010-11 school year, Hartner said, Springs School District students held 50 positions high school teams at an average cost of $677, or a total of $33,863.
told the board he found the proposed budget disappointing. "I feel like you sold out the middle school for the benefit of K through 5," he said.
He noted that during early budget discussions, 70 percent of people taking part said they would rather cut pre-kindergarten classes and 75 percent said they want to keep nine-period day.
McPartland, whose son only has one more year left at the middle school, agreed. She said she felt the board had "stripped down the middle school experienced," while elementary science, Spanish and pre-kindergarten were preserved.
Other changes at the Springs School next year include a 50-percent cut of all extracurricular activities, the transition to a nine-period day to an eight-period day, and cuts to Project MOST funding.
on May 15, between 1 and 9 p.m.