A final proposed budget won’t be available until April, but New Suffolk taxpayers can expect a major decrease in school spending, Superintendent Robert Feger announced at Tuesday night’s school board session.
“It’s going to be a significantly lower budget,” Mr. Feger said.
That’s because it won’t have to pay surprise, mostly one-time expenses that forced the district to add $159,000 to its $788,704 spending plan last fall.
Among those costs was approximately $100,000 for educating a high-needs special education student who had just moved into the district. That student will be too old for the same program in the coming year.
Last fall’s additional costs raised spending by about 20 percent. Most of those expenses will come off the top of the 2011-12 budget, Mr. Feger said. The district is still waiting to learn how much tuition costs will be for students going on to Southold and Mattituck-Cutchogue before it can finalize a budget.
The budget will include funds for an expansion of its preschool program from three days a week to five at the request of parents. Because of limited classroom space, the program will run only two hours each day, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., not two-and-a-half hours as it has this year.
At the Tuesday meeting, the parents of the four preschoolers who might attend the program said their children would benefit from a longer schedule each day. One parent said her work schedule would make it difficult to deal with a preschool class of just two hours. One parent has opted to send her child to Our Lady of Mercy, which offers a longer program.