Written by Gary Simeone Thursday, 18 April 2013 00:00
The New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District presented the 2013-14 budget for a May 21 vote last week. Next year’s budget is currently $35,525,755, a 2.99 percent increase from 2012-13.
Assistant Superintendent for Business Michael Frank gave his budget presentation at a school board meeting at the Manor Oaks School. Outlined in his presentation were the ways he planned to develop the budget for the 2013-14 school year.
“I met with Senator (Jack) Martins last Thursday [April 4] about some of the main points of this budget,” said Frank. “The process of creating the 2013-14 budget has so far proven to be far more difficult than last year and projecting the upcoming budget will be a difficult task.”
Some of the challenges the district faces: school revenues are capped at local levels, pensions and healthcare costs are skyrocketing, contracts need to be paid despite a lack of settlement, and continued unfunded mandates from the state and federal government.
“Developing the budget will be an arduous process,” said Frank. “We want to ensure that we can maintain effective academic programs and support services as well as maintaining the current teaching staff to help foster the local economy.”
He also stressed that keeping the facilities secure and maintained to prevent high cost repairs and implementing a new three year plan to help develop all budgets and focus on learning and instruction was extremely important to the district.
In the 2013-14 budget the district, will look to continue with Administrative Team Training for the ‘Race To The Top’ initiatives. Creating and formulating assessments and benchmarks across content areas to meet ‘Race To The Top’ rigorous assessments and implementing strategies and professional development and materials from the SED Commissioner school grant will also be top priorities.
“This will be our last formal budget presentation before our May budget hearing,” said Frank. “We encourage everyone to support our district by voting on the budget on May 21st from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Manor Oaks polling place.
School Superintendent Robert Katulak said that student attendance will be an area of focus the next few weeks as students take the State required ELA and Math assessment exams. He stressed that overall lack of attendance could reflect badly on the district as a whole.
“Our students must take the tests or else under the No Child Left Behind requirements if we have under a 95 percent attendance rate we could be cited as a school in need of improvement,” said Katulak.
The New Hyde Park School District swept the competition this past weekend at the Nassau Community College Science Fair. Out of 130 projects entered in the County the district came in all places for Grade 6-7 group category. In first place was Patrick Farrell and Mark Romanelli of Garden City Park. Lindsey Lockwood of the Manor Oaks School came in second place and Noel Paul of Hillside Grade School and Vishwajut Sharma tied for third place.