BOE Holds Informal Budget Meeting

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The Manhasset School Board of Education (BOE) held an informal budget meeting on March 23 at Shelter Rock Elementary School. It followed a prior BOE budget work session on March 11 where achieving enhancements in academics, arts, athletics and activities was discussed along with the superintendent’s preliminary 2017-18 budget, which is at the allowable 2.02 percent tax levy cap and achieves a nine-year average tax levy increase at 1.81 percent and a nine-year budgeted expense increase of 1.75 percent.

The March 23 BOE meeting began with a student report from Alexandra Ridini who explained that Superintendent of Schools Charles Cardillo had spoken to the Student Senate regarding the budget that had been condensed into two pages. Ridini explained that the students were “very impressed” with how the budget is going to be spent in 2017-18. Ridini also spoke about senior voter registration and how the senate will go around to economics and government classes to discuss the importance of registering to vote online.

After Ridini’s report, the superintendent addressed the audience and spoke about the proposed budget and explained that the school budget still needed to be tweaked as the BOE had not received state aid as of yet.

“By the end of next week, we anticipate our state assemblyman and state senator will be contacting us related to the state aid allocation,” said Cardillo. “On April 6, the likelihood is that we will see any adjustments to state aid. We are not anticipating. There has been no indication on what that amount is. At the April 6 meeting at Munsey Park, we can finalize everything in budget document and then adopt the budget to vote on.”

Cardillo then discussed enrollment and how it is projected to remain flat over the next three years. The BOE forecasts 3,262 kids total from grades Kindergarten through grade 12 in the 2017-18 year compared to the 3,303 kids total from Kindergarten through 12th grade in the 2016-17 year.

“We took a look at the enrollment and what’s happened in the past 10 or 11 years from 2005-06 to 2016-17 when we almost had like a 450 growth which is significant even for where we’re projecting over the next few years,” said Cardillo. “When we look at the elementary school, Munsey [Park Elementary School] and Shelter[Rock Elementary School] will remain flat, but they still had high numbers. Whether Munsey [Park Elementary School] is at 865 or Shelter [Rock Elementary School]at 725, they’re still at high numbers, just not the high numbers they were at five or six years ago.”

School policy was also discussed at the meeting. The policy that there is no electioneering on school grounds, but the signing of petitions is allowed will be upheld.

“The district parking policy had been somewhat antiquated and that needed updating,” said Patricia Atiken. “We also expanded it so it’s not just student parking, but all parking on campus. We broke it out into sections so there is student sections, a student-staff, people who are here for their business and then other visitors. Students can drive onto campus when they are properly authorized, but they can’t drive on and off. Once they’re on for the day, they’re on for the day.”

The BOE approved the minutes from both the March 9 and March 11 regular board meetings.

The purpose of these hearings is to receive the public’s feedback on the proposed school budget before it is approved and goes to a vote on Tuesday, May 16. The public is encouraged to attend these sessions and provide their feedback openly to the school board so they are properly represented in this process.

In order to vote for the Manhasset school budget, you must be a registered voter of New York state and be a resident of Manhasset. You can register to vote through the Department of Motor Vehicles at www.dmv.ny.gov/more-info/electronic-voter-registration-application.

The next budget hearing was held on Thursday, April 6, at the Munsey Park Elementary School library at 1 Hunt Lane at 8 p.m.

The Manhasset Board of Education will formally adopt the 2017-18 budget on Thursday, April 20, at the Manhasset Middle School library at 200 Memorial Place at 8 p.m.

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Christina Claus is a reporter for Anton Media Group and a regular contributor to Long Island Weekly and Anton's magazines.

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