Port residents will vote on $151M school budget

Port residents will vote on $151M school budget

Port Washington residents next month will vote on a $151.2 million school district budget for 2017-18 that calls for a $4.5 million increase in spending and a 1.01 percent tax levy increase.

The budget, which will be voted on by residents on May 16, calls for increases mainly in spending for health benefits, increasing staff and salary.

Medical insurance spending increased 11 percent, jumping from $19.05 million to $21.14 million.

Mary Callahan, the district’s assistant superintendent for business, said medical insurance spending increased because the insurance rate increased this year.

The district allocated funds to hire two new administrators for the district, including a new elementary assistant principal and a associate administrative literary specialist, as well as a district-wide nurse and 15.4 instructional positions, some of which will split time between schools.

The proposed hires include a high school English teacher, a high school art teacher and music, health, foreign language and physical education teachers, as well as general teachers.

Spending on teachers’ salaries for elementary schools increased by $1.4 million in the budget, going from $20,750,499 to $22,181,178.

The budget also calls for a $654,407 increase in spending for teachers’ salaries at Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School and Paul D. Schreiber High School — a jump from $21,333,534 to $21,987,941.

The budget allocates a $447,443 spending increase for school supervision, which includes principal and assistant principal spending, as well as spending for the two new administrative positions.

The budget calls for slight increases in spending in other areas, including spending for programs for students with disabilities.

There is $9,372,563 allocated to non-instructional paraprofessionals, a 2.95 increase from last year’s budget.

“I think everyone was very pleased that the Board of Education saw the need for additional staffing, understanding the growing enrollment in the district,” Callahan said. “And people who have attended the meetings so far have been positive. I have not heard anything negative thus far.”

Callahan said the budget construction process ran smoothly, with different groups like the board’s subcommittee that handles the budget and other budget and facility committees meeting year around.

“I think the process was an exceptional one and the community also has the opportunity to be heard,” Callahan said. ‘We just asked everyone to look closely at everything.”

Residents will vote on the 2017-18 budget on May 16 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Residents will also vote for two school board seats, as Alan Baer and Christina Nadolne said they will not seek re-election.

Port Washington residents Rachel Gilliar, Peter Smith and Dave Kerpen have filed to run for the Board of Education.

The top two vote getters will fill the seats for three-year terms.

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