Massapequa Schools Sees Potential $3.5 Million Budget Shortfall

District blames pension costs, tax cap for spending gap.

As the Massapequa School district heads into budget season, a top school official says the district may face a shortfall of at least $3.5 million.

At a budget presentation at last weeks Board of Education meeting, Deputy Superintendent Alan Adcock outlined the challenges the district faces as they shape a new spending plan.

With the state going into the second year of the tax cap law, Adcock spoke ofthe steps the district is required to take in calculating the tax levy which was at about $148 million for the current year's budget.

The tax cap law requires that an increase in the levy be at 2 percent or the cost of an increase in the consumer price index, whichever is smallest. But there are some other exceptions which will make the actual allowable levy at 3.38 percent.

"Were estimating that when you go through the tax cap calculation, that the new tax levy for Massapequa schools will be approximately $153 million," Adcock said.

The number is an estimate, but the deputy Superintendent said he's reasonably certain the levy in the upcoming budget will be in that area.

But while the district is limited to an extra $5 million in tax revenue, they have obligations that are going to cause a budget deficit, according to Adcock.

Districts in New York State have been told to expect a 30 to 40 percent pension increase in pension costs, although the district won't know the exact costs rigght away.

"That pension increase will use up all of the additional tax levy that the school district is able to increase in the 2013-2014 School year," Adcock said.

The district is expecting an increase in health insurance and social security costs along with the loss of Medicare Part D funding and a reduction of fund balance, according to Adcock.

"Just in those areas that I mentioned, that puts us in a deficit area of $3.5 million," he said.

After the meeting Adcock said he is of the opinion that the final number will be closer to the $4 million shortfall the district dealt with a year ago.

the Board of Education will hold the first of three formal budget presentations starting next month.

Linda Koplar January 12, 2013 at 09:32 PM
Let us also consider other factors driving up the costs of the budget each year. Seats are being taken up in our children's classrooms by students who are not legal residents in Massapequa. Class sizes will grow and programs will be eliminated due to budget constraints each year. We need to take control of this trend and weed out the non residents.
tony January 12, 2013 at 10:43 PM
do you have specific knowledge about illegal students? I know there are students from other districts because of Sandy who have to be accepted if they applied as students without a open HS also it does drive up transportation costs to pick up these students however, these are the regulations of the state
tommy January 13, 2013 at 05:47 PM
The pensions and health care of school district personnel is the problem. They need to pay into that plan. Then we do not need a bigger administration. The only net result of that is an increased budget that is abused. Then the local politicos are in the teachers dugout. Those same politicos tell the community to vote the budget down. What is more the politicos then make subclauses that provide the budget increases under auspicious titles. The PEOPLE must speak up and vote the budget down then call for reform and not let those selfish schoool administration abuse us. Did you ever hear that a teacher turned around an underperforming student lately? No they just blame the parents.
tony January 13, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Teachers had no imput and have no imput on the rising cost of pension contributions by the school districts and the rising health insurance costs. . During the 2008 wall street meltdown NYS pension fund lost over One Billion dollars. That shortfall has to be made up in order to allow the fund enough money to cover retiree costs. Teachers did NOT cause this shortfall Risky investments in Hedge funds by the previous Controller ( jailed for his illegal tactics) All of us are facing the rising costs of health care. Teachers did not cause this in the same way you did not cause the increases in health cost ( unless you are a CEO health executive) Voting a budget down WILL NEVER solve these problems. This will only reduce the amount of money used for educaton programs in order to pay the increased pension and health insurance costs.
Ben February 07, 2013 at 10:49 PM
This is the second (or third) straight year that the district has come up MILLIONS of dollars short. Other districts do not have the same problems and havent had to lay off large numbers of teachers and assistants. Why would anyone accept the financial numbers of an overpaid administration that clearly can't do the job?


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