2019-20 Budget Receives Passing Vote
Last Tuesday, the Hicksville School District opened its elementary school doors to the public so residents of the district could vote on the budget for the 2019-20 school. With 916 “yes” votes and 329 votes against, Proposition No. 1—Budget was officially passed.
The approved budget of $139,348,682, not including the additional $60,000 appropriated to the Gregory Museum for educational services, is a $3,662,459 increase over the 2018-19 budget’s amount of $135,686,223, and represents a 1.99 percent tax levy increase—just within the state tax levy cap of 2 percent.
Two additional propositions were also passed: Proposition No. 2—Capital Reserve Fund, which received 938 “yes” votes and 289 votes against, will establish the Phase III HVAC Capital Reserve Fund, effective June 30 of this year. The amount of $1,559,180, funded by a transfer from the 2018-19 district retirement contribution reserve, will have a term of three years for the purpose of heating, ventilation and air conditioning projects at a number of district buildings. Proposition No. 3—Gregory Museum, which received 905 “yes” votes and 338 votes against, will appropriate $60,000 to the Hicksville Gregory Museum for educational services.
Broken down by category, next year’s budget includes: $15,481,930 for general support; $78,606,907 for instructional support; $8,583,236 for pupil transportation; $203,900 for recreational programs; $42,565 for community services, which will increase to $102,565 in support of the Gregory Museum should the budget receive a passing vote from residents; and $36,430,144 for “undistributed and other debt.” In comparison to last year’s budget, funds allocated to instructional support increased by $1,957,204, and funds for pupil transportation increased by $152,676.
In terms of revenue included in next year’s budget: Real property tax is calculated to be $104,334,048, which is a $2,034,338 increase from last year; “all other state aid” totals at $735,212, which includes revenue from a $459,712 premium on the bond and reflects a $519,712 increase from last year; state-sourced foundation aid comes to $12,429,951, a $299,062 increase; BOCES funds are at $1,483,909, which is $240,458 more than last year; “miscellaneous state aid” totals $5,688,428, reflecting a $129,861 decrease from last year’s budget; and federal aid comes to $200,000, which is $100,000 more than last year.
Among the uses for the budget during the 2019-20 school year are: Maintaining all existing programs and services in the school district, as well as providing program and facilities enhancements; including new math and science courses at the middle and high school level; expanding the foreign language programs across the elementary schools; acquiring new textbooks; aiding in professional development; and gaining additional staff for alternative high school programs, like WINGS.
In an effort to elevate the climate within every school in the district and promote healthy air quality and an enhanced learning environment, the budget also includes funds to go toward capital projects to improve the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. The high school will also receive funds for the relocation and creation of new tennis courts.
Also part of last week’s vote was filling two seats on the school district’s board of education. With 965 votes, Carla Hoene ran unopposed to reclaim her seat. With 926 votes, Linda Imbriale ran unopposed to claim the seat of Lynda Parmely, who did not run for her seat.