The New Rochelle School District could see 56 jobs cut in 2013-14 school year if the preliminary draft budget is adopted.
Superintendent Richard Organisciak presented his budget statement at Tuesday's board meeting where he outlined the reasons for cutting $5.8 million from the current year's maintenance budget.
"If all these positions are reduced, and no restoration occurs, the district will experience the loss of almost 250 positions over the last four years," Organisciak said.
He said the personnel cuts will come from teaching, administrative, support services, buildings and grounds and clerical staff.
Organisciak said his preliminary draft budget stays within the tax levy cap of 2 percent for the 2013-14 school year and results in a 1.69 percent increase—from $234.2 million to $238.1 million.
The anticipated tax rate under the preliminary budget will be 4.49 percent, up from 4.18 for the approved 2012-13 budget, he said.
A school district can put propose a budget that exceeds the tax levy cap, but in order for it to go into effect, 60 percent of the voting public have to approve it.
District spokesman Paul Costiglio said there has been no discussion of going over the tax cap.
Organisciak said the consequences of the personnel cuts will include an incremental class-size increase at all grade levels, some decrease in athletic and co-curricular activities and the possible reduction of advanced placement and elective classes at the secondary level.
"Pupil services provided by nurses, social workers, psychologists and counselors will likewise be subject to reductions," he said.
The most recent budget survey conducted by the school district found that 61 percent of respondents felt preserving advanced placement and honors classes was essential to the district's mission.
Increases in retirement system, pension and health insurance costs are contributing factors in the personnel reductions.
Organisciak said that this time around is was unlikely the laid-off personnel will be reinstated as has happened in the past.
"Whereas in years past, a number of the projected positions to be eliminated were recovered through retirements and attrition," he said, "we have received fewer retirement notifications—less than 30 for the year."
The first of a series of budget review sessions will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 7 at the New Rochelle High School library. The meeting will be televised on both Cablevision and Verizon FIOS public access channels.