The Great Neck School District proposed a $272.4 million budget for the 2023-24 school year last week, marking a 4.2% increase over the current budget with a projected tax levy increase of 3.09%.
The tentative budget is nearly $11 million more than the current $261.4 million budget adopted by the board last year. The tax levy, proposed at 3.09%, is below the 8% rate of inflation last year, according to John O’Keefe, the district’s assistant superintendent for Business.
“Obviously, always budgeting within our means and staying within the tax cap limits are priorities for us,” O’Keefe said during the budget presentation Wednesday.
The board will make another budget presentation and adopt a budget April 18, with the public scheduled to vote on the budget May 16.
Some of the key expenditures that drive the near $11 million increase from the 2022-23 budget include an additional $4 million for medical and dental insurance, nearly $3 million of higher instructional resources and almost $1 million for transportation contracts.
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.
While officials said they are awaiting the finalized state aid projections before adopting a budget, O’Keefe broke down the anticipated $1.9 million increase in Foundation Aid funds from the government. Highlights include $658,000 being allocated for 2,000 iPads with cases, $729,000 for six elementary school staffers and two secondary school staffers, along with $322,000 for employee benefits.
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 school district will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget May 3 at South Middle School following the budget adoption.