YORKTOWN, N.Y. - A $157 million budget with no spending increase was unanimously approved by the Lakeland Board of Education for voters' consideration in May.
While there are no layoffs in the budget, 13 certified staff and eight support staff have accepted a retirement incentive. District wide, the average proposed tax increase is 1.97 percent.
"We believe the 2012-2013 budget was developed in a responsible way," said Superintendent of Schools George Stone. "We sought to strike a balance between maintaining programs and minimizing potential layoffs with our fiscal responsibility to the Lakeland community. In this budget, we have maintained our programs, our staffing and our class sizes without increasing our overall budget from the previous year and we were also able to stay below our mandated tax levy cap."
Included among the staff retirees are one speech teacher, two teacher aides, two office assistants and one custodian. One program being eliminated at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School is peer mediation.
The tentative estimated tax hikes differ in the six municipalities in the district. The increase in Yorktown is proposed at 2.1 percent, while Cortlandt residents would see a 3.2 percent jump.
Somers residents would experience a 1.7 percent hike, Carmel residents 5.6 percent and Philipstown residents 0.4 percent. Property owners in Putnam Valley would enjoy an 0.7 percent decrease.
"We look forward to sharing our budget with the Lakeland community," Stone said.
The budget and trustee public vote is set for May 15 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Van Cortlandtville Elementary School.
If the budget is defeated twice, a contingency budget would have to be adopted and approximately $2 million would be required to be cut.