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Local school budgets details

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According to a press release from the Office of Gov. Kathy Hochul, the recently approved state budget includes $31.5 billion in total school aid for the school year 2023. The investment represents a year-to-year increase of $2.1 billion (7.2 percent) compared to school year 2022.

Bay Shore

Anyone eligible to vote may register for the Bay Shore School Board Election and Budget vote on May 4, 2022 from noon to 9 p.m. at the Jerry G. Burka Administration Building. A Meet the Candidates forum and budget hearing will take place on Monday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m. The Bay Shore School District budget vote will be on Tuesday, May 17 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the high school gymnasium.

According to the Bay Shore School District, the dollar amount of the proposed 2022-23 budget is $181,243,677. The current 2021-22 budget is $171,016,490, for a percentage increase of 6 percent over the current year. The proposed 2022-23 tax levy would stay the same at $115,360,073. Therefore, there would be no percentage increase of school taxes paid on an average single-family house under the proposed budget over school taxes paid this year. The district plans to spend $1,320,000 from the CRRSA Act in 2022-23 to address learning loss in grades K-5 and $170,000 from CRRSA for Universal Pre-Kindergarten services. The district plans to spend $360,000 from the American Rescue Plan for academic intervention services, $360,000 for summer enrichment and $3,000,000 for a Universal Pre-Kindergarten classroom addition. There was no increase per year for the average homeowner.

West Islip

On Monday, March 7, nominating petitions for board trustee seats were made available at the District Office. The nomination petitions for board trustee seats are due at the District Office on Monday, April 18, 2022. The budget will be made available to residents on Friday, April 29. On Tuesday, May 10, the district budget hearing will take place at 7 p.m. in the Beach Street Auditorium. According to information from the district’s first budget workshop, proposed state aid to West Islip will increase by approximately 2.24 percent. The allowable tax levy for the district for 2022-2023 is 1.99 percent.

There will be two other propositions on the ballot this year for West Islip besides the school budget. They are the use of capital reserve and the establishment of a capital reserve II. The capital reserve fund was voter-approved and established in May 2019. The use of the capital reserve fund comes at no additional cost to the taxpayers. According to the district, the capital reserve fund has a balance of $6,026,622 as of June 30, 2022, with a voter approved use of $1,680,000 during 2021-22.

The district hopes to use the capital reserve for the following projects:

District-wide-Security window film on the first floor of the seven school buildings. Estimated cost- $560,000

High School/Udall-Renovate 12 tennis courts. Estimated cost-$125,000

High School-Extend campus-style fencing on Higbie Lane. Estimated cost-$195,000

Beach Street Middle School/Udall- Renovate six restrooms. Estimated cost-$570,000

Paul J. Bellew Elementary School- Create an additional parking area. Estimated cost- $500,000

High School- Complete replacement of building fire alarms. Estimated cost- $650,000

The total “Not-to-Exceed” authorization for these projects is $2,600,000.

The proposed tax levy for the district for 2022-2023 is $90,382,573. This represents a change of $1,763,329 or 1.99 percent from the previous year.  In terms of security, included in the district’s 2022-23 budget are increased security camera coverage, a new school safety SUV, additional electronic access door control, professional development and school safety uniforms. The proposed budget change for buildings and grounds would increase by $419,661 or 5.12 percent.

East Islip

Voters in the East Islip district will be voting on two propositions: the East Islip budget 2022/2023 as well as whether to authorize expenditures from the capital reserve fund that was established on May 17, 2016. A public information meeting/budget hearing on this vote will be held on Tuesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. in the Early Childhood Center located at 1 Craig B. Gariepy Ave. Islip Terrace in the cafeteria. There will be one open seat on the Board of Education this year with the term running from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2025. The 2022/23 allowable tax levy for the district is $73,673,246 for a monetary difference of $681,648 or .93 percent. The Capital Reserve proposition aims to include district wide electrical upgrades to support air conditioners in classrooms, additional bathroom renovations across the district, creation of a bus loop at the high school, additional renovation of the theater/music area at the high school and paving repairs at various locations including the RCK playground. The Capital Reserve was voter approved on May 17, 2016 and has a current balance of $5,951,633 and requires voter approval to spend. On Thursday, April 14 the district will hold their third budget presentation. There was a $72 average increase per homestead per year. 

Islip

In the March 8 budget presentation, the district identified budget goals. The goals stated, “commitment to deliver high quality instruction for all students while enhancing technology district wide, create a budget aligned with the district’s mission and goals, carefully review prior year expenditures and identify areas that need realignment, develop a long-term plan for the district’s educational programs and initiatives while: maintaining safety and security needs for the entire educational community, advancing educational opportunities for all students, identifying and continuing facilities repairs, improvements and upgrades and researching the establishment of a Capital Reserve and a Repair Reserve.” During the April 12 budget presentation and adoption, the board voted for a tax levy of 1.99 percent, which is under the 2.12 percent allowable limit. The district is also asking the community for approval to establish a capital reserve fund. Capital reserves are similar to savings accounts for districts and can only be used for future capital projects that are approved by voters. Capital reserves come at no extra cost to taxpayers. The district anticipates the capital fund to be funded by CRRSA COVID funding expenditure reimbursement, unspent budgeted funds and excess revenues. In addition, the district is also asking for community approval of the establishment of a repair reserve fund. The purpose of this reserve would be to pay for the cost of repairs to capital improvements or equipment. The reserve is expected to be funded by CRRSA COVID funding expenditure reimbursement, unspent budget funds and excess revenues. Expenditures from this reserve may only be made after a public hearing, except in an emergency situation.

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