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Superintendent's Corner

April 2018

The Board of Education and District administration have been working tirelessly on creating a budget that addresses our responsibility to provide an excellent education for our students in a physically and emotionally safe and secure environment that is balanced with sensitivity to the fiscal impact on our residents. There is no greater source of pride in a community than the quality of its schools. Residents essentially want to see that they are getting their money’s worth when they pay their taxes. Teaching and learning is the core mission of our organization and we are committed to doing everything we can to preserve, protect, and promote quality education in the Port Jefferson School District.

We have presented a proposed spending plan that reflects how we plan to do just that. The proposed budget assumes that a finalized agreement between the Town of Brookhaven and LIPA does not materialize in time to impact the 2018-19 school budget. We have posted the proposed budget on our website. Included in the budget proposal is the fiscal impact if the budget does not pass which is the contingent budget.

We have also included a description of possible modifications to our proposed budget if a deal between the Town and LIPA is finalized and it impacts the 2018-19 school year. Our modifications are based on our conversations and other communications with Town officials since Brookhaven Town Supervisor Romaine announced news of an agreement in principle with LIPA on April 3rd. We have been told in all of our conversations that any reductions for LIPA would be in assessments and NOT in payments. This, of all of the variables that could be contained in a settlement, is the issue of greatest concern to us.

In my experience as a school leader, I have found that there is nothing more concerning and potentially divisive throughout a school-community and among employees than having to make budget cuts to school programs. Increasing residents' taxes is not very popular either. Our goal for next year and for subsequent years will be to strike a balance that is sensitive to both issues and, most importantly, preserves, protects, and promotes quality education in the Port Jefferson School District.

Paul Casciano, Ed.D.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018