The Glen Cove Board of Education adopted an $82 million budget for the 2016-17 school year at its meeting on April 19, a budget that reflects the same information proposed by the administration at the previous meeting.
“This budget is very lean,” said Victoria Galante, assistant superintendent for business. “We’re trying to anticipate now any potential expenses as a way to avoid problems next year.”
Next year, the district will see a tax levy decrease of $212,370, or 0.32 percent; Galante explained that Glen Cove can only levy $65,891,895, as opposed to the $66,104,265 that was levied this year.
“We are one of only 82 districts in the whole state with a negative levy,” said Galante.
The district does expect an increase in state aid of $825,551 and an increase of $1,061,811 from PILOTS. Significant increases in expenses are due to health insurance, which will go up by $899,920; tax refunds, which are expected to increase by $400,000; an increase of $453,030 for the special education program line item, which includes new hires; and $205,232 for operations of facilities, which includes an increase cost for security measures taken at the schools, such as security camera upgrades and the need for new ID badges for students every year.
A proposed savings of $560,000 comes from proposed reductions in the central office, administration, moving teachers around, not filling a clerical position and retirements.
The adopted budget preserves all current programs, expands the middle schools humanities and research programs, adds new course offerings at the high school, and includes the replacement of an oil tank at Connolly School, new bleachers in the high school gymnasium and alterations in the high school auditorium.
A separate referendum will also be on the ballot that will provide busing for all children in kindergarten through fifth grade and for students at the middle school and high school who live a mile or more away from the school, as opposed to the current 1.5 mile policy.
Having this transportation change in place will not incur any extra costs to the district; Superintendent Maria Rianna said that they looked at the routes and made adjustments with the transportation consultant, and would continue to monitor ridership throughout the year.
The budget vote and trustee election is on Tuesday, May 17. Residents should be aware that there have been changes in polling locations for this year; the two locations are the Glen Cove High School and Connolly School. Visit www.glencove.k12.ny.us and click on the board of education tab for more information on the budget and where to vote.
Before the meeting adjourned a question was raised about whether or not a final decision had been made on the middle school honors program.
“The discussion is far from over,” said Rianna, noting that the administration took into account all of the concerns raised by parents at previous meetings. “We will make sure the public is aware prior to the next discussion.”