PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- The Pleasantville School District has plans to eliminate 10 teacher aide positions and four teacher assistants in their preliminary budget for next school year, despite still being over the state mandated tax levy cap.
David Quattrocchi, assistant superintendent for business for the district, said that reductions are due to better utilization of the aides and assistants throughout the three schools.
"These reductions are created by efficiencies in scheduling and also program adjustment," Quattrocchi said at last week's Board of Education meeting.
The district has not specified what schools or programs will be affected by the reductions.
The reductions in staff will save the district around $69,000 from last year's budget. The $46.7 million proposed budget has a total increase of $1.48 million from last year's budget with a tax levy increase of 4 percent. That levy increase exceeds the state mandated maximum allowable levy increase and will require a 60 percent approval vote from the residents in order to be approved.
Quattrocchi and Superintendent Mary Fox-Alter said that the budget process is still in the early stages and that the district can explore further areas to make reductions in order to get closer to the cap. Quattrocchi said the current gap that must be reduced to reach the cap is about $430,000.
The biggest challenge for Pleasantville in meeting the levy cap is the increase in pension costs for teachers and staff members. For the upcoming school year, the district is estimating a $922,000 increase in pension costs from last year.
"That increase in itself is above our cap," Quattrocchi said of the pension increases.
The final proposed budget will be adopted by the Board of Education on April 16 and voted on by the public on May 21.