Bronxville School in good financial shape

By CHRIS EBERHART

The Bronxville Board of Education inched closer to its goal of staying within the 1.9 percent state-imposed tax cap in the latest edition of its 2014-2015 school budget. 

After the latest draft of the 2014-2015 Bronxville School budget was released, Assistant Superintendent of Business Dan Carlin said the district is “in pretty good shape.” File photo

After the latest draft of the 2014-2015 Bronxville School budget was released, Assistant Superintendent of Business Dan Carlin said the district is “in pretty good shape.” File photo

During a March 1 budget workshop, Bronxville Assistant Superintendent of Business Dan Carlin said the current edition of the proposed school budget, which includes concrete numbers for health insurance and the state tax levy cap, sits at a total expenditure of $46.3 million with a 1.98 percent tax levy increase, just a fraction of a percent over the cap.

Carlin said the tax rate increase, which is different from the tax levy increase, is sitting at 0.82 percent.

“Overall, we’re in pretty good shape right now,” Carlin said. “And I definitely think we’ll get under the cap by the March [20] board meeting. The board has no appetite for a super majority vote to override the cap.”

In order to come in under the tax cap, which Carlin said has been the goal all along, the Board of Education has to cut an additional $30,167 from its budget, a significant decrease from the last edition of the budget, which was released on Feb. 1 and required $107,000 in cuts to get under the cap.

Carlin said he will comb through the current iteration of the budget and locate areas where the district can trim the fat, but he didn’t have any specific areas at press time.

The $46.3 million school budget marks a 2.07 percent spending increase over last year’s budget, of which 2 percent is funding for teacher’s salaries, benefits and pensions.

“Basically, we’re squeezing all the other numbers to support salaries and pensions,” Carlin said.

The assistant superintendent said the district is also contending with rising enrollment, which has been an ongoing trend for the past several years.

Since the 2011-2012 academic year, enrollment in all of the Bronxville schools increased by 12 percent, which includes an increase of 82 students during the 2013-2014 school year and a projection of nine additional students come 2014-2015.

Bronxville Superintendent David Quattrone said the current tax cap number will fluctuate with class size projections, which he said the district will continue to keep an eye on.

“Class size trends in all grades will continue to be monitored in the months ahead,” Quattrone said. “The district is paying close attention to kindergarten, where the trajectory of registration is outpacing past patterns.”

The Board of Education will adopt its budget on April 22, and then put it to a public vote on May 20.

CONTACT: christopher@hometwn.com