The Great Neck Board of Education unanimously adopted a $272.1 million budget for the 2023-24 school year on Wednesday, an increase of more than 4% from the current year’s.
The budget is a $10.7 million increase from the current year’s $261.4 million budget adopted last year. The 2023-24 tax levy is $229.5 million, an increase of $6.8 million or 3.07% from the current year’s.
John O’Keefe, the district’s assistant superintendent for Business, said proposed capital projects planned for next year were $41,667 less than original projections that were previously presented.
The district expects to receive $14.8 million in state aid in the budget, an increase of $2.7 million or 22.1% from the adopted state budget. New York did not adopt a 2024 budget as of Wednesday, despite an April 1 deadline to do so.
The district anticipates receiving more than $1.3 million for its universal pre-K program, but those funds are accounted for in the Special Aid Fund, which cannot be used as a funding source in the district’s general fund budget. Without the pre-K funding, the district anticipates $13.5 million for state aid to be used in the general fund balance.
Some of the key expenditures that drive the nearly $11 million increase from the 2022-23 budget include an additional $4 million for medical and dental insurance and nearly $4 million for instructional resources.
The district also budgeted an additional $848,000 for general support, which “is basically everything non-instructional related,” O’Keefe said.
The budget anticipates replacing the 12 teachers retiring at the end of this year and hiring one full-time social worker, six full-time elementary school staffers and four full-time secondary school staffers.
A variety of security enhancements including electronic door access controls and transportation improvements such as GPS tracking software were also outlined in the budget presentation.
Additionally, another $6.4 million will be allocated to the district’s capital projects, the same amount as last year.
Projects that the district will be undertaking this year include the repaving of the North High School parking lot, the extension of JFK’s teacher resource center and a renovation of South Middle School’s lacrosse and softball fields, along with a variety of other building upgrades to the seven other schools.
The district will hold a public hearing on the budget on May 3 at South Middle School ahead of the May 16 budget vote and school board election.