The Bridgehampton School Board adopted an $11.2 million spending plan for the 2013-14 school year, a 4.83-percent increase from this year’s $10.7 million budget, which stays within the state-mandated 2 percent tax levy cap.
Bridgehampton Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lois Favre said the projected tax levy is a 4.4-percent increase from this year’s tax levy, from $9.4 million to $9.8 million, and the tax rate will increase from $1.56 to $1.63 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Taxpayers whose homes are assessed at $2 million would see a $137.53 increase in their tax bill, to about $3,260.
In recent months, the School Board has had to make tough cuts to the budget, including the elimination the school principal position, currently held by Dr. Jack Pryor.
According to Dr. Favre, she will take on the principal’s duties—a consolidation of administrative positions that was recommended by the community at the board’s last budget meeting. Dr. Favre said the elimination of the position will help the district keep teachers and programs. Dr. Pryor’s final base salary was $150,394.
He accepted a district-offered retirement incentive, but the district agreed to allow him to resign instead of retire while still receiving the incentive so he can continue to do other things in the education field, Dr. Favre said. The board accepted his resignation, effective June 30.
The board is also expected to include a proposition in this spring’s budget referendum to allow taxpayers to weigh in on a plan that would authorize the district to pay for students to be transported to a parochial school in Riverhead.
Currently, the district does not provide transportation to Bishop Mercy-McGann High School, because it is not required by the state to transport students to private and parochial schools outside a 15-mile radius of the district. Bishop Mercy-McGann is 21 miles away—but it is the closest parochial high school.
The board is still finalizing the proposition.
The budget vote will be held on May 21.