Westchester schools may cut teachers, increase class sizes
Updated: November 26, 2012 2:19AM
WESTCHESTER — The Westchester Elementary District 92.5 Board was told Sept. 20 the district’s fund balance will decrease every year through 2017.
Director of Finance and Operations Michael Prombo said projected year-end fund balances will fall from $10.1 million at fiscal year 2012 to $2.2 million at fiscal 2017.
“At some point, it might result in higher class sizes because you have more kids coming in or cutting teachers,” Prombo said. “You never really know what it’s going to be. You usually don’t flush that out until October, November, December, January.”
Prombo said a deficit is projected in part because the state of the economy, pension reform, fuel prices and home values. However, he did say that the five-year projection from fiscal year 2013 through 2017 is an estimate.
“You do a five-year projection to see what could be out there,” Prombo said. “Hopefully you make sure you cut back on your expenses in the current year. A lot of school districts are running into that problem because the state is cutting back on the money they’re giving.”
Superintendent Michael Dziallo said the board is in contract negotiations with the teachers’ union.
“We’re just in the preliminary stages of brainstorming some cost-saving measures,” Dziallo said. “That does apply, of course, that we do some personnel cuts so that’s what we’re dealing with right now.”
Prombo said 53 percent of district funds are spent on salaries, along with 25 percent spent on benefits.
The district receives 84 percent of the its funding coming from local taxes, 12 percent from the state and 4 percent from the federal government. Dziallo said it would help if the state would keep up its funding.
For fiscal year 2013, the estimated ending balance is projected at $9.25 million, with $16.7 million budgeted expenses and $15.8 million in budgeted revenues. If the 2013 fiscal year budget projections become realistic, Prombo said it could mean higher class sizes and cutting teachers.
The board will continue discussions at a committee meeting at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 2 in the multipurpose room at Westchester Middle School.