The school budget season is officially upon us.
With the first school budgets under the 2 percent tax cap being put up to the voters on May 15, several school districts are beginning workshops for the planning of the 2012-13 budgets this week.
At the , superintendent Michael Hartner said three budget work sessions have been scheduled. The first session will be held on Monday at 6:30 p.m. The , where the school will transition to a part-time superintendent with a full-time principal and full-time assistant principal, will be discussed. Other budget items to be discussed will include buildings and grounds, transportation, technology, and other “infrastructure” items.
The second session -- "A Community Conversation" is set for Feb. 11, which is a Saturday, at 9 a.m. It will focus on Instructional Program, Special Education, extra-curricular, sports, and field trips. Parents, students, staff members, and district residents can participate in small groups of 8 to 10 to identify which district programs and services that have the highest value to students, "as well as which items they might be willing to “re-think” or sacrifice in order to keep those things that they value most," the district said. The feedback will help the board set priorities.
The district is asking that community members RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if they plan on attending.
The third session is scheduled for Feb. 27 at 6:30 p.m. The format has not yet been decided, but the focus will be on tuition costs, BOCES expenses and anything else not yet covered. Hartner said the district is still awaiting final instructions from the State Education Department and State Comptroller about the implementation of the 2 percent tax levy limit. Depending on when the final instructions are received, the work session may need to be rescheduled.
In East Hampton, the board of education has slated five dates so far; Jan. 31 (Tuesday), Feb. 14, Feb. 28, March 13. and March 20. Meetings will be held in the board room at 7:30 p.m.
According to the clerk, Kerri Stevens, the public is invited to attend, but the board will not take public comment or input.
The Board's budget workshop will be held on Feb. 7 at 4 p.m.