Huntington School Board members will resume their review of a draft budget for the 2018/19 school year during a public meeting next Monday night in the Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School auditorium. The session will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Superintendent James W. Polansky will review the budget areas devoted to employee benefits, debt service and inter-fund transfers. He will also discuss several possible capital projects. The district maintains a separate capital reserve fund to cover costs associated with reconstruction and renovation initiatives, which are also eligible for partial state aid reimbursement.
“Budget development for the coming year remains a challenge in the face of mandated costs and reduced state aid,” Mr. Polansky said. “Regardless, over $1 million has been trimmed to date from non-instructional costs, with little to no impact on program. We are hopeful that we can eradicate much of the remaining deficit in a similar manner.”
Since the first public budget presentation on February 26, district executives have been refining the initial budget draft. A second version of the draft will be released Monday evening.
Among other items, the last presentation featured an update on the district’s short and intermediate-term capital plans. “They have been revised to address security and current infrastructure needs,” Mr. Polansky said.
A copy of Mr. Polansky’s presentation next Monday night along with the second version of the budget draft will be posted on the district website at www.joshuacarnes.info. All of the budget meetings are open to the public. Residents are given two opportunities to address trustees at each meeting.
The district is still waiting to learn how much state aid it will be allocated in the 2018/19 state budget, which is due for enactment by April 1. State legislative leaders released announced that about $1.5 billion in additional revenues have become available. How much of that money will be devoted to state aid and how much more Huntington UFSD will receive has not been determined.
The district is also waiting to receive updated assessed valuation figures from the Town of Huntington. An increase in assessed valuation will moderate any potential tax increase. Staffing based on student course enrollment and kindergarten registration has also not been finalized.
“I encourage any and all residents to join us at upcoming sessions to learn more about the 2018/19 budget and to ask as many questions as they deem necessary,” Mr. Polansky said. “We take pride in the ongoing transparency associated with the process.”
Upcoming budget meetings and topics include the following:
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 16
• Budget vote and trustee election at Huntington High School from 6 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Once the Huntington School Board adopts a proposed budget for 2018/19 it 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.