With crafting of the proposed 2013/13 Seaford School District budget set to commence, PTA leaders from all four schools have joined urging the board of education to consider restoring programs cut from recent spending plans.
PTA presidents presented the school board a letter during its Thursday night meeting outlining what budget items should be included in next year's spending plan while also acknowledging the reality that the economic climate remains challenging. The Seaford School District was forced to operate on a contingency budget for the 2011-12 school year following two rejected spending proposals by voters but were able to pass last May’s $57.8 million spending plan, which still contained reductions in programs and staff.
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Some of the budget priorities PTA leaders emphasized in the letter read during the school board meeting include:
- Limiting class sizes and reducing overcrowded classrooms.
- Eliminating “free periods “at Seaford High School created due to the elimination of electives.
- Restoring after school learning academies and testing review classes.
- Restoration of full-time social workers at each elementary school building.
- Reinstatement of Seaford Middle School athletic teams.
- Resurrection of after school clubs and activities that have been cut.
“We bring these items, which our membership have identified, to your attention this evening, in the hope that you will take them into consideration as you continue your budget discussions,” a portion of the Seaford PTA letter read at Thursday’s night meeting stated. “We are available to have further discussion on these matters and hope that we can work in a collaborative manner to put forth a responsible budget that insures academic success for all our students at every level.”
Brian Fagan, president of the Seaford Board of Education, thanked the PTA leaders for bringing forth their recommendations and said he will pass along to the district’s budget advisory committee. The school board has until early April to adopt a budget proposal that would be put before voters on May 21.
Seaford Superintendent Brian Conboy said districts are expected to find out preliminary state aid estimates from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget next week and whatever help is received from Albany will go a long way toward determining what can be funded. The district will also be limited under a tax cap law approved by the State Legislature in 2011.