Great Neck school trustees increase proposed budget by $700K

Great Neck school trustees increase proposed budget by $700K

By Demi Guo

Great Neck public school administrators on Monday night outlined a revised preliminary budget of $234.34 million. 

The total is about $700,000 above the amount the district tentatively proposed last month. According to the presentation laid out by the board, $300,000 of the increase will be covered by state aid just passed in Albany, $100,390 from interest rates and $300,000 from accumulated out-of-district student tuition.

None of this money, said John Powell, the assistant superintendent for business, would come from taxes. “The tax levy will not be raised,” he said. “This is a responsible budget, to get only the funding that we need, and we are sensitive to the high tax burdens of New York State.”

This budget increase would go into hiring additional secondary teachers for enrollment growth, Powell said, an additional full-time nurse and two contracted security guards to fill in the updated vestibules on hand. It would also go into supplies to start an elementary robotics program and funding special events or student competitions.

Money would also go toward the testing line for the College Board and National Merit Tests, due to the growing number of students taking them. 

The health teacher would assist social workers with money from a $75,000 drug and alcohol grant, in order to alert students about substance abuse from early on.

There is, however, a $25,000 gap. That comes from pending reimbursements from parents who owe money for students who buy lunch food on credit. The district intends to collect, Powell said, and that would also be part of the budget.

All in all, this is the working document until the Board of Education’s decision on April 16, said Colleen Bowler, the Great Neck Schools public information specialist.

“I hope people hear what we’re proposing and make their decision,” Powell said, “do their research and see it’s for maintenance and improvement of the school district.”

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