PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. - Members of the Pleasantville School District Board of Education want the public to know that they are committed to getting within the state-mandated 2 percent tax levy cap as the budget development process goes into full swing.
"I think we can provide quite a sound educational program for our students next year and be below the cap," Board of Education member Shane McGaffey said.
The district still needed to make about $430,000 in cuts to meet the cap, Assistant Superintendent for Business David Quattrocchi said at a Board of Education meeting in February. Since that meeting, the district has cut about $312,000, mostly from a new cost-saving health care plan for district employees, Quattrocchi said.
The district has also previously discussed eliminating 10 teacher aides and four teacher assistants to meet the cap. Part of the reason for the cuts is an increase in retirement expenses, which will cost Pleasantville an extra $900,000.
The district is seeking mandate relief in the months leading up to the budget approval, Board of Education member Louis Conte said.
"How can you cap me but basically bill me over the cap?" Conte said in regards to the high cost of state mandates to the district. "The last time we left this budget, the retirement bills and other state-driven mandates put us over the cap."
The Board of Education will hold a public work session Tuesday night with the district finance committee. The session is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Pleasantville High School library.