Port Washington School District proposes $196M draft Budget for 2024-2025

Port Washington School District proposes $196M draft Budget for 2024-2025
The Port Washington School District administration presented their proposed budget plan for the 2024-2025 school year that will be up for adoption April 16th. (Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

By Samuel Schultz 

The Port Washington School District is proposing a preliminary 2024-2025 rollover budget which features a 6.8% increase from last year. 

The districts budget for the current school year is set at $184,265,295, but assuming the 2023-2024 budget rollovers, the district would see an increase to $196,705,700 in 2024-2025,  marking approximately a $12,440,405 rise. 

While the state has implemented a 2% tax cap on the budget, Assistant Superintendent for Business Kathleen Manuel explained that the district’s tax levy growth factor is only at 1.02%, meaning that the allowable tax levy to increase is $5,240,635- an increase of 3.39%. 

The 2023-2024 tax levy limit amounted to $154,523,228 while the newly presented tax levy limit would amount to $159,763,863. 

Manuel presented the draft budget at the Board of Education’s meeting Tuesday night, focusing on the key factors in that determined this preliminary budget as well as, the amount of revenue required for the rollover budget. 

Key factors to take into consideration include expiring pandemic funds the American Rescue Plan funds, given to school districts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, will expire in September 2024, health insurance premium increases, along with increased contractual salaries and benefits. 

Taking a look at the revenue required to reach the rollover budget, the required property tax levy would be $165,149,146 resulting in the Port Washington School District being $5.3 million over the allowed tax levy limit of  $159,763,863. 

The Port Washington School District is estimated to receive $ 20,268,574 in 2024-2025 under Gov. Kathy Hochul’s state aid proposal. This is a 5.56% increase from the district’s state aid last year of $19,201,487. 

As of Feb.7. The Port Washington School District has an enrollment of 5,334 which is 73 more students than at this time last year. 

To be under the allowable tax levy limit Manuel mentioned some of the next steps. These include, the reallocation of funds to have as little impact to students as possible, looking at staffing by program, by building, as well as stakeholder input, and more legislative advocacy. 

Superintendent Michael Hynes said he is adamant about addressing this issue sooner than later. 

The budget will be a topic of discussion at next week’s March 5. Board of Education meeting.


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