The District is anticipating a tight 2011-2012 budget if a state plan to impose a 2 percent cap on the growth of school property taxes passes in Albany this winter.
District business administrator Robert Hauser said at the Dec. 1 meeting of the school board that the cap would mean the district would only be allowed to put forth a 2 percent increase in its budget next year.
Last year, district voters approved a $10 million 2010-2011 budget, which was a more than $60,000 drop compared to the previous year's budget. Bridgehampton Superintendent Dr. Lois Favre said most of the reduction in costs could be attributed to teacher attrition.
This year, Dr. Favre said, the district is hoping to keep the budget low, but she could not give any specifics as to where cuts might be made, saying that it's too early to tell. She also declined to speculate on how the changes in Albany following November's election might help or hinder the passage of this bill.
"I learned a long time ago not to anticipate anything from Albany — or try to predict it," Dr. Favre said. "We will just have to wait and see."
Among the politicians in favor of the bill is Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, who has said he is advocating the 2 percent tax cap. Kenneth P. LaValle, the state senator for the East End and a Port Jefferson Republican, has been a long-time advocate for a cap as well.
"As with most districts in this time of economic uncertainty, we are most certainly considering the impact of a possible tax cap, a further decline in state aid and all that must be considered to provide the community with as accurate a projection as possible for next year's budget," Dr. Favre wrote in an e-mail last week.
School Board President Nicki Hemby also declined to comment on any possible cuts the board is considering for the budget next year. She said she is withholding comment because the proposed budget is not yet finalized.
Districts Receive Robotics Grant
Bridgehampton Principal Jack Pryor took the opportunity during the Dec. 1 meeting to note that the district would be receiving $1,000 from the Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, located in Queens, to fund a robotics program. Pryor said is also receiving $1,000 to begin its own program. Members of the school board voted to accept the the grant later in the meeting.