Board’s plan maintains programs and small class size
After extensive public discussion and input throughout a lengthy and open process that started in Great Neck Public Schools, the Board of Education has adopted the Proposed 2017–18 School Budget in the amount of $223,311,165. This amount is a 1.9 percent increase above last year’s budget. The tax levy increase is 1.26 percent over the 2016–17 amount.
The proposed budget will:
• Preserve all current programs at the elementary and secondary levels.
• Safeguard elementary class sizes, in accordance with board guidelines.
• Maintain early-morning elementary drop-off programs.
• Continue the fee-based, early-morning elementary school enrichment courses.
• Maintain training and professional development for faculty and staff.
“When we talk about the district’s high rankings and our students’ outstanding achievements, we must remember that these accomplishments start in the classroom,” said Board President Barbara Berkowitz. “It is imperative that we continue to meet the needs of all students. Each child has but one opportunity to go through each grade. Our goal is for every child to have a successful, positive experience in school—and this extends to our private and other nonpublic school students, as well.”
Dr. Teresa Prendergast, super-intendent of schools, added, “We remain committed to being a premier school district on Long Island, in the state and in the country. We will continue to deliver an innovative, high-quality education to our students. I’m very grateful to have the support of the community and the board as we make progress toward these shared goals.”
New York State’s Property Tax Cap
This school year is the sixth in which school districts must abide by New York State’s tax-cap legislation. This law requires districts to limit tax-levy increases to 2 percent or the rate of inflation—whichever is lower. The tax-levy limit for 2017–18 is 1.26 percent. Multiple factors affect the actual limit. John Powell, assistant superintendent for business, explained that the tax-levy limit “incorporates changes to the tax base, the rate of inflation, payments in lieu of taxes, debt payments, capital project expenditures, transportation equipment purchases and pension increases above a certain percentage.”
Visit www.greatneck.k12.ny.us to calculate your budget tax by clicking on School Tax Estimator and bond tax by clicking on Bond Impact Estimator.
Revenues in 2017–18
To balance the 2017–18 budget, the district will appropriate $2.2 million in fund balance and reserves, which are unspent funds from prior years. These funds will help cover contractual salary increases, hikes in health-insurance premiums and other planned expenditures. Anticipated increases in revenue will also offset expenses. For example, Great Neck collects tuition from other school districts that enroll their students in programs offered here. These enrollments continue to grow and it is anticipated that they will yield nearly $2.5 million in revenue in 2017–18.
Validation of Fiscal Practices
Great Neck is one of only seven school districts—and 21 public entities overall—in New York State to earn a “AAA” rating from Moody’s Investors Service. This rating means that the district’s financial obligations are judged by Moody’s to be of the highest quality and, therefore, subject to the lowest level of credit risk. In the annual New York State–required external audit of the school district, the certified public accounting firm of Cullen & Danowski, LLP, reported
of finances, emphasizing a strong financial position, wise investments, an internal control system of checks and balances and procedures that are supported by board policies.
Fifth-Lowest Class I Property Tax Rates
Great Neck’s 2016–17 school tax rate for single-family homes, or Class I properties, was the fifth lowest of the 62 school districts in Nassau County.
Substantial Services for Nonpublic School Students
The district, in accordance with state law, allocates more than $6.5 million to provide services to private and nonpublic school students, including bus transportation, textbooks, health services, special-education services, school library materials and computer software loan programs.
For More Information
The 2017–18 Proposed Budget may be viewed at www.greatneck.k12.ny.us. Printed copies are available at the Phipps Administration Building, 345 Lakeville Rd. and reference copies can be found in the schools and public libraries.
For details about the budget, voter registration, absentee ballots and voting, call 516-441-4020.
On May 16, registered voters who live north of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) may vote at Baker School, 69 Baker Hill Rd. Those who live south of the LIRR may vote at South High School, 341 Lakeville Rd.