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School Officials Hint at Teacher Layoffs

Superintendent vows not to cut programs next year during budget presentation.

The Massapequa School District may be forced to layoff teachers as a result of the coming budget shortfall.

At a budget presentation at last week's Board of Education meeting, Deputy Superintendent Alan Adcock hinted at the possibility while answering a question posed by Joe Garbarino, the chair of the Massapequa Committee for Educational and Fiscal Responsibility.

When Garbarino expressed the opinion that the district doesn't need as may teachers because enrollment is down, Adcock responded that the number of teachers may drop.

"You'll see on the instructional side of the budget, there is about $977,000 worth of unemployment insurance," he said. "That should give you some type of idea that there will be and has to be, as a result of the tax cap, layoffs in this district."

When asked after the meeting if he had any hard numbers and how many teacher layoffs there will be, Adcock said, "Not yet." The the district is laying off one bus driver and eliminating two other currently vacant positions.

During the presentation, Adcock said the district will face an estimated $4.7 million budget shortfall because of the state's new 2 percent tax cap.

He also estimated the maximum allowable tax increase this year under the cap would be about $3.5 million.

That won't be enough to meet expenses next year, because of increased pension and health insurance costs as well as other mandates, according to Adcock. 

But School Superintendent Charles Sulc vowed to keep the cuts away from the classroom, at least for now.

 "I will not make any recommendation to the board of education this year that will eliminate programs," he said, quickly adding that the district would not be able to make the same promise in future years.

Adcock also said that it will be difficult not to make cuts down the road. "This is not a one shot thing, this is not just for the 2012-13 school year" he said of the tax cap, saying that more rising mandate costs will mean program reductions.

The next budget discussion will be on Mar. 1.

David Rosenthal February 09, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Why does it always come down to the workers in the trenches getting the short end of the stick? How about the Superintendant Charlie Sulc helping out. If there is a shortfall within the District, the Superintendent should be held accountable. He is the captain of the ship. If the ship is going down- he cannot be the first one on the lifeboat. It is a financial failure on HIS WATCH!!
Maxmf February 09, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Perhaps a reduction in the $270,000+ that Mr. Sulc receives should also be considered. It may be comparable to other districts salary packages, however it still just may be too much.
Ken February 10, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Mr. Sulc should share in the pain - financially. He is responsible for making sure the credits and debits are correct, and cut back where necessary to insure a balanced budget. If he has a problem with that, he must step aside and put someone else in who can make it happen. Don't take away teachers- have him first voluntarily reduce HIS salary.
David Rosenthal February 10, 2012 at 08:16 PM
"Teacher Layoffs"??!!!!!??? Where is the Union Representatives reply?? Don't they get paid to defend the teachers or do they play dead and collect the check??? Hello Union Officials--- drop the coffee mug and SIGN IN .............................
Mr. E February 12, 2012 at 06:53 PM
STUDENTS are the reason that the school buildings and jobs exist -- not the other way around! He and his crew haven't been in a classroom in DECADES. Why would you expect him to cut the salary of his administrative captains when he can cut the people INSIDE the classroom instead? VOTERS CHOICE: 1. More high paid "administrators" on the board. OR.... 2. More teachers & staff in the classrooms (and smaller class size) Teacher LAYOFFS???! How about retiring and keeping another ten teachers with fresh blood and new ideas?
Mrs. O February 14, 2012 at 03:22 PM
This district is in trouble because of the new rules Albany and Mineola put in place and has very little to do with Mr.Sulc. The shortfall is based on the two percent tax cap. Our angst needs to be directed at the people who make the rules, Albany and Mineola. Of course we need to always be aware of what our elected officials, state,local and BOE are doing with our money, but the shortfall is because of Albany.
Struggling in Massapequa March 09, 2012 at 10:49 PM
I disagree Mrs. O. Perhaps you were not at the School Board Meeting in December of 2011 where Mr. Sulc presented a video presentation that he took the time to create. It was an animation video of a Holiday Greeting card with all the Board of Education memebers faces edited in singing a holiday jingle. Mr. Sulc should put it up on the Districts website; you will all love it. Perhaps he can create children's videos once the district gets wise and bounces Mr. Sulc and his $270,000+ compensation package.
David Rosenthal March 10, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Just think of all the people who believe Mr. Sulc is not worth the money he is paid by the district. Many, many people feel intimidated not to speak up for fear of reprisal by him or another administrator. Teachers and parents of children in the school system do not want to be on record for voicing their opinion concerning THEIR high salaries and their ineptness in improving the district's standing and financial condition. Mr. Sulc please respond. We hardly ever hear you speak- even at board meetings. Show us you have a new proposal, something intelligent.. Show your leadership abilities. Your door is NOT open.
Mrs O March 10, 2012 at 02:29 AM
I don't see what one has to do with the other. The problems this and many other districts face has little to do with a holiday greeting.
John P. March 10, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Wasn't he just telling us about how the district has the lowest "per pupil" spending in the region? Now they are laying off more teachers? If the students and teachers are not getting our tax money...where is it going? There is something wrong if the district is spending very little on the kids and firing the teachers in such high numbers. Life experience is essential for good leadership. But I am glad that my doctor is fairly young. He is not a baby straight out of college...but he knows about the latest procedures and is not set in his ways. I would definitely like to see them show us some ideas that aren't just a "song and dance" to keep the natives from getting restless. It seems like we have had some terrible issues within the schools over the past few years that go beyond anything I can remember happening in the past. It's true that times are tough and that other districts have to deal with the tax cap...but a man is not rich just because his neighbor is poor. It is true that the tax cap is a concept that has many flaws...but firing masses of young teachers and workers is a sad old routine and shows a lack of efficiency and new ideas.

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