The North Salem Central School District (NSCSD) should be very unhappy with the Proposed Budget increase of 1.77 percent. The Proposed Budget does not include any teacher increases or significant capital spending (i.e. the base year comparative contained $100k for a bus, the proposed budget contains zero). If you exclude teacher salaries from the base the increase amounts to almost 5 percent of the remaining costs.
We must praise our teachers who recognized the realities of the economic environment and have agreed not to receive any salary increases in the budget year. On the other hand it is obscene to see that the already highly paid administrators have submitted their own salary increases of between 2 to 7 percent. If, as I suspect, some of these increases are dictated by contract, then the board should publicly announce a request to renegotiate the salaries in such contracts and specify no increases for the coming year.
For a small district with only 1,300 students (a number that is expected to continue to decline) do we really need seven administrators each earning compensation and benefits in excess of $200k. I think not and believe that with some pre planning and reallocation of responsibilities we could eliminate there of those positions completely. Such action would help fund the capital needs instead of yet another doomed bond proposition.
With only two school buildings can the board really justify custodial compensation and benefits in excess of $1 million? I think not and am sure there is cleaning that can be outsourced at meaningfully less cost.
Our board of ed has a long way to go before presenting a proposed budget for our consideration on May 15.
William Lang is a 15 year resident of North Salem.
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