Education

Board of Ed Approves New School Budget

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NORTH SALEM, N.Y.— The North Salem Board of Education unanimously approved a school budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year at its meeting on April 18.

The nearly $42 million spending plan calls for an additional $816,000 in spending over this year’s budget and contains no major cuts in personnel or curriculum initiatives. Projected non-tax revenue for the 2017-18 budget is a little more than $4.6 million.

The budget increases the tax levy (amount to be collected by taxes) by 1.43 percent, thus staying under the state-mandated tax cap.

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In addition, it calls for $415,376 in salaries over the 2016-2017 adopted budget and benefits are up by nearly $322,000 from last year’s spending plan. Those costs, according to Superintendent Kenneth Freeston, account for the more than the $816,000 in overall increased costs. Freeston noted the salary figure is actually two years’ worth of salary growth, due to the collective bargaining agreement reached with the teachers’ union last year.

Freeston credited reduced pension costs, multi-year budget planning and increased program revenue for the district’s ability to keep spending below the state-imposed tax levy cap.

A public hearing on the adopted budget is slated for May 3.

The 2017-18 budget vote and trustee election will be held at Pequenaconck Elementary School Tuesday, May 16, from 7-9 p.m. Two trustee seats are open. Incumbent Andrew Brown is seeking re-election. Carolyn Aversano is not seeking another term. Kurt Gulden is running for that open trustee position.

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