Proposed Budget Barely Budges


roxIn addition to the bond referendum on capital improvements, Roslyn School District residents, on May 20, will vote on a 2014-2015 budget. 

The Roslyn Board of Education recently approved a budget to be placed on the ballot, one that school district officials claim will continue to make Roslyn one of the very top districts in Nassau County when it comes to holding the line on spending and taxes.

According to school district officials, the 2014-15 school year will be the third in which the state’s tax levy limit of two percent has been in effect, but it is also the sixth consecutive year that Roslyn’s proposed budget has been well below the state target.

Voters will go to the polls to vote on a budget of $102,731,007, a spending increase of 0.65 percent over the current year.

The tax levy, district officials said, would rise 0.64 percent, which is well within the limit mandated by New York State.

Also at the presentation at Harbor Hill School (See “Bond Presentations Underway,” page one), Dr. Dan Brenner, Superintendent of the Roslyn School District, said that Roslyn has the third lowest tax levy out of the 56 districts in all of Nassau County.

Though there has been some staff attrition because of retirements and lower student enrollment, the instructional program, school officials added, has been growing, with initiatives in literacy, languages, technology, professional development and other areas continuing and in some cases expanding.

For instance, Brenner said that Roslyn High School would graduate 273 students this spring. That compares to a kindergarten class of slightly under 200 students. The result is that the district doesn’t always have to fill new positions once a school district employee retires. That reduces budget costs, he added.

Since 2008-09, the school tax levy has risen an average of about 1.3 percent per year. This, Brenner said, represents the second lowest increase out of those same 56 school districts.

Joseph Dragone, assistant superintendent for business, said that because the district has kept the tax levy well below the state limit of a 2.11 increase, its residents will receive a rebate check equal to 1.46 percent of last year’s tax bill. All this, Dragone added, means that residents will pay less in taxes to keep the district’s programs and staff funded.

In addition to the budget (Proposition 1) and the bond referendum (Proposition 3), school district officials said the following will also be on the May 20 ballot:

• Election of two trustees to the Board of Education. The deadline for candidates to submit petitions for their names to be on the ballot is Monday, April 21 at 5 p.m.

• The 2014-15 budget for the Bryant Library (Proposition 2).

• Proposition 4, which authorizes the lease/purchase of two large school buses and three vans to replace older vehicles in the district’s fleet.

Budget documents are posted in the Business and Finance section of the district web site. There is also a property tax calculator that residents can use to estimate their 2014-15 property taxes, based on the most currently available information on assessments and other factors that are beyond the school district’s control.

Voting will take place on Tuesday May 20 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Roslyn High School. To vote, an individual must be a U.S. citizen, 18 years old, a resident of the Roslyn School District for at least 30 days, and registered to vote in advance of election day.

For additional information, as well as information about candidate petitions, contact the District Clerk at 801-5002. An absentee ballot can be downloaded from the school district website.

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Joe Scotchie is the editor of both The Roslyn News and New Hyde Park Illustrated News. In 2009, he won a New York State Press Association award for a sports feature. Joseph Scotchie’s past publications include biographies of Thomas Wolfe and Richard Weaver and a comprehensive history of the city of Asheville, North Carolina.

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