Roslyn schools see small state aid boost, lowest in 5 years

Roslyn schools see small state aid boost, lowest in 5 years
Roslyn school district assistant superintendent of business Joseph Dragone, second from left, discusses the proposed 2018-19 budget with the board of education. (Photo by Amelia Camurati)

Long Island schools are set to receive about $2.9 million in state aid for the 2018-19 school year, but Roslyn is expecting a small sliver of that pot.

Roslyn school district is projected to receive $5,439,635 in state aid for the upcoming school year, a 1.34 percent or $72,121 increase over last year’s $5,367,514.

“Given the state fiscal picture, it’s what we expected, that it would not be a significant amount this year,” Joseph Dragone, the district’s assistant superintendent of business, said. “It’s the lowest increase in the last five years. We are somewhat disappointed, but given the state fiscal picture, it’s something we expected.”

Roslyn’s percentage of the funds is the lowest on the North Shore.

East Williston Union Free School District will see the largest increase of schools in the area of about 6.81 percent. The district will receive $3,516,353 in aid and Herricks Public Schools will receive $11,157,010, a 4.26 percent increase from last year.

Neighboring Great Neck and Port Washington districts are seeing nearly double the average increase in aid across Long Island with 7.4 percent and 7.53 percent respectively. Manhasset school district is projected to receive $4,583,588, a $72,633 or 1.61 percent increase in state aid funding over this year’s $4,510,955.

Dragone said the proposed $110,606,049 budget, which is a 3.2 percent increase from this school year, would require a 2.42 percent tax levy.

Dragone said the district administration, which is currently on spring recess, has not discussed how they plan to use the additional $72,121 for, but Dragone said possible options include reducing the tax levy or decreasing the amount of reserves used, which could increase the amount placed into a capital reserve fund.

Dragone said the board plans to discuss the state aid funds at the April 17 Board of Education meeting at Roslyn High School.

At a March Board of Education meeting, Dragone said the budget and levy were increasing slightly due to additional security features, including seven full-time security aides, ideally retired police officers, for $381,000, two additional security vehicles for about $80,000 and the installation of additional security equipment districtwide for about $140,000.

Instead of further increasing the levy beyond 2.42 percent, Dragone said the district will also use reserve funds to cover the difference.

Nassau County districts will see a 3.82 percent increase overall, with an additional $38.6 million in state aid funds in the overall $1.05 billion given to the county.

Suffolk County is projecting a 3.43 percent increase in state aid, up $61.4 million to $1.85 billion.

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