Tuxedo’s proposed school budget to have a 5.46 percent tax levy reduction

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— The Tuxedo School Board has unanimously adopted a proposed $13,181,372 budget for the 2018-19 school year, 4.09 percent decrease over the previous year with a tax levy reduction of 5.46 percent over last year.

“The major portion of the reduction comes from the Board of Education and Administration choosing to provide taxpayers with relief by not replacing debt that is expiring for at least the upcoming year,” Superintendent Nancy Teed wrote in a note to The Photo News. “Additionally, there were line items in the budget that were reduced to help support the overall reduction.”

The proposed cuts in the budget include the reduction of a .8 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) position that covers both George Grant Mason School and George F. Baker High School.

Student enrollment and revenueThe greatest change in revenue for the proposed budget is a 45 percent reduction in non-resident tuition for next year, though there is a 33.33 percent increase in revenue in health service payments from other districts along with a 3.18 percent increase in state aid.

However, that 45 percent reduction is a variable percentage number that can be easily changed, Teed stressed, because some current, non-resident students have not yet reconfirmed attendance for the 2018-19 school year.

Additionally, the district has perspective new students for the upcoming school year who have not formally enrolled, she added.

Current student enrollment for Tuxedo, which has a small number of out-of- district students pay to attend its STEM Academy high school, is at 254 districtwide.

Officials currently estimate between 245 and 250 students for the forthcoming school year.

Two propositionsTeed said the board also approved a proposition to establish a $250,000 capital reserve to be known as the “Buildings and Facilities Improvement Reserve Fund” to assist in addressing items in need of replacement. Theses larger items, as identified in the district’s Building Condition Survey, include a boiler, roof and window replacements.

Additionally, voters will be asked to approve a second proposition to establish a $150,000 Repair Reserve Fund. This fund would assist in the repair of items, identified on the Building Condition Survey, like exterior steps and the repointing of brick in the older parts of the buildings.

“By proposing these two propositions, it will lessen the burden of a capital project to the taxpayers when the district seeks to add debt for the large projects,” Teed wrote.

Vote on May 15Tuxedo also plans to continue partnering with the Chester School District for select sports that may not be offered at Tuxedo.

“It’s a fiscally responsible budget that provides a high quality of education to our students,” Teed said. “The district hasn’t been under the tax cap by this percentage in many years.”

This proposed budget, adopted during the board’s April 19 meeting, will be presented to voters for consideration on May 15.

The budget’s details are available at: http://www.tuxedoufsd.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_1210127/File/Business%20Office/Budget%2018-19/Budget%20pres%2004-05-18.pdf, with select information part of a forthcoming mailing to district taxpayers.

- Nancy Kriz

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