Amanda M. Fairbanks previously worked in the editorial department of The New York Times and covered higher education for The Huffington Post. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, The Hechinger Report, and Education Week. A graduate of Smith College, she spent two years at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in East Hampton with her husband and young son.
The East Hampton Star
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Despite months of haggling over line items in East Hampton School District budget workshops — and more than $1 million in cuts — Tuesday night’s public hearing on next year’s $64.2 million budget was docile. Though the school board normally convenes in the district office, the hearing was relocated to the high school library in anticipation of a larger crowd, but few members of the public turned out. Even fewer spoke up.
It’s budget season, and the Springs School Board has voted unanimously to adopt a $25.4 million budget for the 2013-14 school year.
Next year’s proposed budget includes a tax levy increase of 1.3 percent and a projected tax rate increase of 3.37 percent over last year. By comparison, last year’s $24.6 million budget included a 2.97 percent increase in the tax levy and a 3.19-percent increase in the tax rate, based on the previous year’s budget.
Since the East Hampton School District suspended three bus drivers and two mechanics in February, rumors and accusations have run rampant. Now, with two of the bus drivers opting for public disciplinary hearings, which began Tuesday, the district’s reasons and counter claims are coming out.
The three-member board of the tiny Wainscott School voted unanimously last week to adopt a $3,458,857 budget for the 2013-14 school year. No members of the public were present.
The proposed budget includes a $45,603 decrease in spending from last year’s $3.5 million. The proposed tax levy is $2,706,957.
After weeks of tears, tension, and tumult, Tuesday night’s meeting of the East Hampton School Board seemed tame.
Following months of line-item budget workshops, during which board members sparred over the cost of sheet cakes and field trips, all seven of them voted to adopt a $64,238,501 budget for the coming school year.
After two years of legal back and forth, more than two-dozen employees at Springs School have a collective bargaining agreement with the district. It was approved unanimously on Monday at a meeting of the Springs Board Education. Each member of the Civil Service Employees Association had similarly voted in favor of passage.