Great Neck Board of Education adopts $261.4 million budget for 2022-23 school year

Great Neck Board of Education adopts $261.4 million budget for 2022-23 school year
The Great Neck Board of Education unanimously adopted a $261.4 million budget for the 2022-23 school year. (Photo courtesy of the Great Neck School District)

The Great Neck Board of Education adopted a revised $261.4 million budget for the 2022-23 school year during Tuesday night’s meeting.

The budget, initially proposed at $262.2 million, is now only a 3.66 percent increase from the 2021-22 budget rather than the 4.14 percent increase it previously was. The proposed tax levy increase went from 3.08 percent in the previous proposal, to 2.57 percent, or $5.6 million, in the adopted budget. The proposed tax levy increase falls below the state-mandated cap.

The public will vote on the budget on May 17.

District officials said instruction-related costs make up more than 74 percent of the budget expenditures, followed by buildings and grounds costs, which make up more than 9.5 percent of the budget, and then transportation, making up 6.4 percent.

Property taxes make up more than 85 percent of the budget revenue while appropriated fund balance and reserves make up more than 5.6 percent, according to officials. The real property taxes the district anticipates receiving are more than $1 million less than previously allocated in the preliminary budget.

Some of the revisions from the previously proposed $262.2 million budget include a $168,000 decrease in security aides for the district due to retirements, nearly $500,000 less in various transportation contracts (which officials said will have no impact for busing students) and more than a $680,400 decrease in special aid funding for the district’s pre-K program.

The revised budget still projects that state aid would increase by nearly 9.3 percent to just under $11 million. Enrollment for 2022-23 is projected at 6,612 students, down one and a quarter percent from the 6,696 students attending Great Neck schools this year.

Revisions were also made to the district’s 2022-23 capital projects, with nearly $3 million allocated to provide Phipps Administration Building with electrical upgrades, North Middle School’s auditorium with a replacement ceiling and to reconstruct the old Parkville School locker room into an instructional space.

The budget was adopted 4-0, with board member Grant Toch not in attendance. Board President Rebecca Sassouni lauded Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance John Powell and the entire budget team for their communication with stakeholders and transparency throughout the  budget process.

“Countless hours were spent, starting back in the winter, creating the budget, meeting with the board, meeting with various stakeholder groups and being as transparent as possible regarding every single line in this budget so it is defensible and so that anyone who asks would have the information to make up their minds about it,” Sassouni said.

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