During Tuesday night's budget hearing, the Smithtown Central School District released tiers two and three of possible cuts to eliminate the more than $4 million deficit it's facing in the 2013-14 school year.
The proposed Tier 2 reductions would result in eliminating $1.765 million of the remaining deficit if all of these and the Tier 1 cuts were implemented. If all Tier 1 and Tier 2 cuts were implemented, the district would have $17,224 remaining of the deficit.
Click here to see the Tier 1 proposed cuts.
Tier 2 cuts include reducing co-curricular activities in half, eliminating late buses, letting go of three full-time librarians, and eliminating middle school sports, the theatrical program, fifth grade band and orchestra, and electives such as business olympics, DECA, robotics and more.
The cuts in Tier 3 would eliminate the remaining deficit altogether.
Proposed in Tier 3 are cuts including moving to an eight period day in the middle and high schools that would result in the loss of 12 full time employees, removing two guidance counselor positions, eliminating full time kindergarten and more. The cuts would result in saving the district $6.195 million.
While discussing options the district has with proposing the upcoming budget, Superintendent Anthony Annunziato said there is an option to present a budget that would pierce the tax cap. A 60-percent super-majority approved vote would be needed to approve the 4.7 percent proposed tax levy.
Annunziato also said that the 4.7 percent number could be reduced if the high tax aid is restored in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget. Annunziato said Cuomo's budget is expected to be released by March 21.
Click here for more on the high tax aid reduction.
Sequestration and a recalculation of debt by the New York State Education Department could result in more financial losses for the district; the district estimated there could be a loss of $140,000 from sequestration and $103,858 or $156,358 from next year and each year moving forward from the debt recalculation.
During the next budget hearing, set for April 2 at 7 p.m. in the Joseph M. Barton Building on New York Avenue, the district will provide a glimpse into the fiscal future of the district, which could include the possibility of bankruptcy.
“The projections will include, and I’m sorry to say this, the possibility of bankruptcy. That is a possibility, unless something changes,” Annunziato said. “If you have a deficit every year, if you stick with the cap every year, you’ll have a deficit every year, your expenditures will outpace your cap. Every year you’ll have to make reductions to meet that cap or to pierce the cap, and obviously you can’t pierce the cap every year because taxpayers can’t afford it.”