SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – The Public Schools of the Tarrytowns need to add six more teachers and one additional teacher assistant to next year's budget because of enrollment growth, Superintendent Howard Smith said.
“It's bubbles of students coming up from the primary schools,” Smith said.
School officials discussed a preliminary budget for the 2013-14 school year during a Board of Education meeting Thursday night.
Administrators are recommending adding an ESL teacher for the primary grades because non-English speaking enrollment has increased and one additional teacher each in third, fourth and sixth grades because of larger class sizes. They also recommend a teacher's aide at Washington Irving Intermediate School, a special education teacher at the middle-high school, a teacher for social students and special education at the high school.
To pay for the increases in staffing, officials also recommended taking away a second grade teacher position, not hiring a replacement for a retiring social worker and using state funds to pay for the Pre-K program.
The district would contract outside services for Pre-K in accordance with state law — something the district had been allowed to waive in previous years, Smith said. This helped “take kindergarten TAs off the table” because it freed up budgeted money, Smith said.
Officials estimate a preliminary tax levy increase of 2.24 percent, noting that the preliminary budget is within the tax cap limit.
Next year's budget was the most encouraging the district has seen in recent years because there isn't a projected deficit that must be recouped through cuts, school board President B. Joseph Lillis said.
“It's fairly encouraging,” he said, “as we've been able to stabilize the district's finances in the aftermath of the financial crisis.”
School officials will continue to discuss the 2013-14 budget in January and February, with a final review in March. School board officials will adopt the budget in April and put it to public vote in May.