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Proposed Miller Place Budget Includes 22.5 Teacher Layoffs

25 total staff reductions and elimination of entire Middle School Athletic Program among cuts in first proposed budget.

The Miller Place Superintendent's proposed budget for the 2012-13 school year does not exceed the tax cap, but includes over 24 staff reductions and many academic, athletic and extracurricular cuts.

Superintendent Susan Hodun and Deputy Superintendent Marianne Higuera presented their proposed budget to the Board of Education, teachers and community members in attendance at Wednesday's first Budget Workshop at the .

The proposed budget of $64,681,269 is an increase of just .67 percent from this year and includes a 2.6 percent tax levy, the maximum allowed for the district under the new cap.

Among the many cuts in the proposed budget is the elimination of 22.5 full-time teachers and 2.5 clerical and support staff members, which would save the district $1,910,670. Seven co-curricular reductions include high school drama and robotics and Middle School National Junior Honor Society. The cuts would leave just four clubs each at the high school and middle school.

Another controversial reduction in the budget is the elimination of the entire athletic program, which would save the district $162,505. The announcement of these reductions was met with dismay by many parents and community members.

"If youre going to cut all the sports from the middle school I can't imagine the backlash, I think that's unacceptable," Miller Place parent Pete Conelli said. "What are these kids going to do all day? When I moved here nine years ago I picked this community for the school system and I hope I didn't make a mistake."

The community members were not alone, as board members also questioned the cuts proposed. After the presentation, board trustee Brian Neyland received a number of ovations from those in attendance as he challenged a number of aspects of the budget. He vowed that he and the board will do everything possible to find the funds necessary to save the programs currently on the chopping block.

"When we look at eliminating middle school sports...and then when we look at all the programs also eliminated, it adds up to 257,065 dollars," Neyland said. "That's less than one-third of one percent of our entire budget. I have to believe that in a 66 million dollar budget we can find 257 thousand to keep those progams. I think we have our work to do to try to find at least [that]."

The board assured the community that things can be done to save the programs and reminded everyone that this budget is not final.

“At this point in the process, everything is on the table,” Board President John Magnani said.

The budget overview is available above in PDF format. All budget information has also been made available on the district's website.

The next budget workshop is scheduled for March 7 and will focus on the Instructional (courses, etc.) portion of the budget.

localmom April 23, 2012 at 11:45 AM
The unions of today are not like the unions of long ago where they shared your more noble values. Today, they are a pyramid/ponzi scheme where the top feeds off the bottom. Those poor, newer teachers have to make a deal w/the devil (the public sector union--which by the way is slightly different from private sector unions) and pray that they don't lose in the end. Those newer teachers can be the most gifted, sought-after teachers in the entire district (like we have in RP), but have "only" worked in the district for 9 years. So....it's off you go while the rest of the members demand yet another raise...and the union bosses, who make their living off of keeping members disgruntled, keep their pretty hefty perks and bennies, too. Why everyone points to the superintendent's salary, but not the union bosses' is beyond me.
Wlodek April 24, 2012 at 10:54 AM
localmom, have you seen this blog? http://millerplace-rockypoint.patch.com/blog_posts/miller-place-teachers-association-wheres-the-beef
Janet April 29, 2012 at 01:40 PM
I've been voting NO on the Miller Place school budget for 35 years and for 34 or those 35 years it has passed the first time. Only once, that I can remember, when 17.5% was being sought did it get voted down but they went back and asked for 12% and it went through. Perhaps people did not understand how much money and benefits the teachers & administration recieved or because they put fear into the parents about the lose of certain programs. Unless more of the taxpayers go and vote little will change in the education kingdom.

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