Huntington School District executives are already working to develop a draft budget plan to fund operations in the 2017/18 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 Tuesday, April 18 when they will adopt a plan and send it to local residents for an up-and-down vote on Tuesday, May 16.
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 three 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 were sent to Human Resources in December. Principals will present their respective budgets to the central administration later this month.
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 the face of a particularly restrictive 2017/18 tax cap, as well as a range of unfunded mandates, we must continue to carefully analyze and prioritize expenditures and revenue sources in an effort to maximize financial efficiencies. As we navigate through the budget development process, we encourage residents to share their ideas and assist the administration and board of education in developing a responsible budget that considers the need of our students and the taxpayer burden.”
Once the draft budget is finalized trustees will review each line of the budget at a series of budget 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 2017/18 tax levy limit on Monday, February 6. 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 27
• General overview of the budget process to date;
• Function areas dealing with central administration and the school board;
Monday, March 6
• Employee benefits;
• Debt service and inter-fund transfers;
• Capital projects.
Monday, March 13
• Instruction and staffing;
Monday, March 27
• Review of the budget.
Tuesday, April 18
• Budget adoption by trustees.
Monday, May 8
• Budget hearing.
Tuesday, May 16
• Budget vote and trustee election.
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.