Budget Passed, but What's Next For School Spending?

Sooner or later, Plainview and other districts are going to need to bust the cap: What then?

About 90 percent of Long Island school budgets passed Tuesday, , but at some point, expenses are going to go up. It's inevitable.

The state's so called restricts the amount district's can increase their spending year to year. It was originally heralded by state lawmakers as a 2 percent cap.

That's not the whole truth: The actual figure is comprised from a complicated formula, typical of New York State. The actual figure varies from district to district. You need an accountant -- in Plainview's case, Ryan Ruf, the district's assistant superintendent for business and finance, to determine the actual number.

Plainview's budget was under the cap figure -- that is, for Plainview. The budget passed easily by a 2-1 margin.

Sooner or later, Plainview will need more money to pay for its excellent programs and staff. One day, Plainview will need to bust the cap, school officials concede.

What then? We know taxes are high and hard for some to pay. Will you vote for a higher budget or against one? Are you willing to give up programs and quality education because of an arbitrary number decided in Albany's vacuum?

Take our poll and sound off in the comments.

Patrice Finkelstein May 17, 2012 at 01:14 PM
There have been independent audits and under the expert guidance of Mr. Ruf, Plainview Old Bethpage School District passed with flying colors. The major expense of the school budget is the state mandate that we have to provide a specific rate of return to the teacher's pension investments - yes, a GUARANTEED rate of return on their investment. And with the economy and stock market what it is today, we are funding the majority of this rate of return. The Board of Education and the school district are conservative in their spending and responsible in the commitments of our rented and leased properties. If you want to help to make a difference, start lobbying our state representatives and the govenor to get this mandated rate of return repealed. Our teachers make much more in benefits than they do in salary and EVERYONE needs to remember to consider that aspect of their income as well as their base salary when they consider what it is that our teachers receive as a salary. I don't know about you, but I would absolutely LOVE to have my retirement funded in this way by someone else!
MG May 17, 2012 at 01:22 PM
The problem from a macro standpoint is 30-40 of the buidget is consumed by pension and medical benefits -the number of retires now equal if not greater then the amount of active staff and teachers ! no one is willing to budge - capital imporvments are overlooked and my school taxs are a gigantic 12,650 in plainview - we love the teachrs but are less then thrilled with the lessons plans from schollastic and pearson - very vanilla - something has to give it is unsustainable
Tom May 17, 2012 at 03:33 PM
With all the whining that we pay too much let me point out that Jericho pays $11,000 more per student than we do. If you want to be the best school district than you have to pay to attract the best teachers. In the years that my daughter attended POB schools, there was only one teacher that we didn't think was great. As I mentioned here before, the high quality education my daughter received helped her win a scholarship that will save me $80,000 over the course of her college years. She would never have won that scholarship without the extra effort her teachers put in to help her.
Simba May 17, 2012 at 06:21 PM
That is news to me, i was told by the previous SI that they did the audits. I could be wrong and I would love to hear who did the audits and do they provide access to the reports.
Simba May 17, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Best in the Nation, now you are not making sense....Save the best ratings for the Schools in the top 100, which we are not.


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