The Levittown school board decided not to adopt a budget at last night's meeting.
Board president Mike Pappas and board vice president Peter Porrazzo spoke on behalf of the rest of the board out of concern for a lack of fund balance budgeted for in the proposed 2012-13 budget.
The fund balance enables the district to make repairs within a school year. "[It's] really a savings account," Porrazzo said. "God forbid you have a boiler blow up or a roof that needs to be replaced, in an emergency you need to have something available."
It also can be carried over to fill revenue gaps in the following year's budget, something particularly important with a capped tax levy.
"We know that our levy is capped," said Pappas. "We know that our expenses are going up on a continual basis. Planned fund balance going from $8 [million] to $3 [million], that's a steep reduction. I'm concerned about that."
Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Grossane and Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance Mark Flower proposed a , which is a 4 percent decrease from the year before.
Porrazzo said he was fine with that number, but preferred to reduce other sections of the budget in order to raise more fund balance.
"I think we should be reducing actual expenditures and try and replace some of the monies that we’re applying to the subsequent year on the revenue side," he said.
"We need to have the ability to open our doors up in three or four years," said Pappas. "What can we do?"
Grossane and Flower told the board that they will re-review the budget line-by-line to see if cuts can be made in order to produce more fund balance.
"Even when you’re prudent, there are certain things there that, if we have to forestall their purchase for this school year, to perhaps spread it out over time, I’m sure we could go back and look over things," he said.
Grossane added that he would not look to make cuts from the district's proposed program budget to avoid an impact on students.
The district decided to create a rollover budget, which allowed them to keep every program they had in 2011-12. In the process, they produced the 4 percent decrease.
Grossane warned at the meeting that some teachers may receive layoff notices once schedules are approved.
"There could be some staff reductions in response to scheduling or enrollment or perhaps some realignment in certain areas," he said.
He made it clear, though, that the potential layoffs would not approach the 60 teachers laid off a year ago.
Part of the revenue that the district will raise will come from state aid. At the moment, Levittown is budgeted $46,847,167 in state aid.
However, Flower said at the meeting that the new state budget will return $200 million in aid to state schools.
The board estimated that the district's aid number will go up by approximately $700,000 as a result.
The district has until April 20 to submit a final budget proposal to the state. Grossane said at the meeting that he expects the final budget to be decided on by April 17.