Huntington School District executives are already working to develop a draft budget plan to fund operations in the 2018/19 school year.
Budget worksheets were distributed to principals, directors and central office administrators earlier in the fall and that information is now being used to compile a working budget for trustees to consider.
After receiving the draft plan, trustees will make final decisions during the course of five public meetings, culminating on Monday, April 16 when they will adopt a plan and send it to local residents for an up-and-down vote on Tuesday, May 15.
There are many variables still up in the air for next year, including the level of Huntington’s state aid. Most of the missing budget puzzle pieces are expected to fall into place over the next four months.
Budget managers submitted their draft financial plans to the district’s business office in late November. Staffing parameters were distributed to principals and directors on the same day. Elementary staffing projections will be sent to Human Resources this month. Principals will present their respective budgets to the central administration shortly.
A working budget will be presented to trustees by mid-February. Secondary level staffing tallies will be delivered to Superintendent James W. Polansky in late February.
“We remain in the midst of fiscally challenging times,” Mr. Polansky said. “In light of the property tax cap and increases in mandated costs, we must continue to carefully analyze and prioritize expenditures and revenue sources in an effort to maximize financial efficiencies. As we navigate through the 2018/19 budget development process, we encourage you to share your ideas and assist the administration and board of education in developing a responsible budget that considers the needs of our students and the taxpayer burden. Budget development sessions are designed to enable residents to better understand and participate in the process.”
Once the draft budget is finalized, trustees will review each line of the budget at a series of meetings. Each of the sessions will begin at 7:30 p.m. and be held in the Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School auditorium on Lowndes Avenue in Huntington Station. The public is welcome to attend and will be given an opportunity to address trustees.
Mr. Polansky will make a public presentation on the 2018/19 tax levy limit on Monday, February 5. The presentation and all successive budget presentations will be posted on the district’s website at www.joshuacarnes.info.
Public meetings will focus on specific budget topics according to the following schedule:
Monday, February 26
• General overview of the budget process to date;
• Function areas dealing with central administration and the school board;
Monday, March 12
• Employee benefits;
• Debt service and inter-fund transfers;
• Capital projects.
Monday, March 26
• Instruction and staffing;
Monday, April 9
• Review of the budget.
Monday, April 16
• Budget adoption by trustees.
Monday, May 7
• Budget hearing.
Tuesday, May 15
• Budget vote and trustee election at Huntington High School from 6 a.m.- 9 p.m.
Once it is released, a copy of the draft budget will be posted on the district’s website at www.joshuacarnes.info and will also be available in the district’s business office and in each of the eight school buildings.