Written by Emily Cappiello, firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, 15 May 2014 08:49
The Hicksville Board of Education presented its budget for the upcoming school year at a board meeting on May 7.
“The board looks at all the pieces together in order to figure out what is important in regards to the budget,” said Maureen Bright, Superintendent of Schools.
The total budget for the 2014-15 district budget is $127.9 million. Of that, $2.5 million is from the fund balance and an additional $3.07 million has been taken from the district’s reserves to fill the budget gap. The 2014-15 budget is an increase of 2.7% from 2013-14’s budget of $124.5 million. The tax levy increase is .09%. The budget for the year will result in a $4 increase per home from last year, a total of $4,859 for the year.
“We continually look at ways to save the district money and we always will,” explained Bright. “We look at a multi-year plan on using our reserves and we decided to use $3 million for the 2014-15 school year. We did that last year as well.”
While many school districts on Long Island have seen a significant decline in enrollment, Hicksville has stayed steady and is not expecting a decline in the coming years. The district has the eighth lowest tax rate on Long Island and projects to spend about $20,617 per student in the 2014-15 school year.
“We are very tight with how we spend our money, however, our students have excelled in a wide variety of areas,” Bright explained, just before reading off some of the major student accomplishments from the past year.
For the 2014-15 budget, $11.6 million will go to pension and retirement funds and $4.9 million to Social Security. Some significant savings, explained Bright, came with nine teacher retirements. Those teachers will be replaced with new hires that will be lower on the pay scale.
Additionally on the ballot for the 2014-15 budget will be two referendums. One is for the creation of a $1.30 million capital reserve fund for building improvements and the other is for the creation of a $500,000 technology budget. Bright explained that these funds will not cost the community any more money as the district put away funds for the tax certiorari that is currently in litigation between Nassau County and the school districts. The money will be pulled from that fund.
The budget vote will take place on Tuesday, May 20. Voting takes place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Burns Avenue School, Dutch Lane School, East Street School, Fork Lane School, Lee Avenue School, Old Country Road School and Woodland School.