Assistant Superintendent for Business
2018-2019 Budget Letter
The budget process for the 2018-2019 school year has been underway since late August, 2017. We have been extremely fortunate in past years. We were one of the lucky districts not forced to reduce programs while navigating through the tax cap era. Some of this comes from prudent fiscal planning, strategic allocation of funds, and collaborative approaches to finding more economical solutions to existing problems. With that in mind, had it not been for the additional state aid allocated to the New Hyde Park - Garden City Park UFSD, our district would have experienced reductions in staff, altering how certain programs are facilitated or determining if they could be run at all.
The point of mentioning that is to show just how reliant we are on state aid increases to help fund district programs. We will do everything we can internally to produce a budget that conforms to the wants and desires of all concerned parties. The Board and Administration will take in to consideration all requests from the budget input sessions, as well as all "budget builders", in terms of the best way to allocate the funds availed to us by way of the tax cap formula. Then, the Superintendent will recommend a final budget for the board to adopt and put before the voting community.
As a reminder, the tax cap allows for an increase in tax levy that is formula based. The result of this state prescribed formula will vary from district to district based upon the different variables associated with the formula itself. Thinking that the tax levy is limited to a 2% increase is incorrect – something we have been trying to educate community and staff on since the creation of the law. Additionally, the increase in the tax levy will not necessarily be the increase in a taxpayer’s individual bill (see the following link for a document that explains this in more detail https://www.nhp-gcp.org/Page/2606 )
It should be noted that there is one part of the tax cap formula that does deal with an automatic increase in the tax levy. That line of the formula caps the increase at the lesser of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or 2%. It is that line of the formula that gave the tax cap its nickname – the “2% cap”.
As a service providing entity, most of the district’s budget is comprised of staffing costs. Approximately 80% of the operating budget exists to pay for salaries and benefits for Teachers, Teacher Aides, Monitors, Nurses, Clerical, Custodial staff, Bus Drivers, and Administration. This is a similar percentage to that of other public school districts. The remaining 20% of the budget is comprised of debts service, materials, supplies, equipment, and external contractual obligations (i.e. special education costs such as tuitions and related services, transportation costs, facilities costs such as fuel oil and electric, business costs such as auditing and actuary fees, counsel costs, etc…).
In the New Hyde Park – Garden City Park UFSD we have a decentralized budget process that empowers department heads, “Budget Builders”, to propose their initial budget. Fiscal responsibility has historically been a focus and goal of each team member and will continue to be a priority during this budget process.
As the budget progresses and information is available in terms of the tax cap, the district will revise the budget and update the community regarding the impact. If it becomes necessary to make difficult decisions, it is extremely important that all members of the staff and community come together to collaborate, discuss, and provide insight to the board of education and administration.
Please check the school calendar, budget calendar, or the website for information pertaining to the budget process. Also, please check the website for updates regarding the tax cap and other items affecting the 2018-2019 budget. Don’t forget to come out and voice your input at one of the two scheduled Budget Input Sessions. These have been created so that it affords all stake holders the ability to convey information to the Board of Education and the Superintendent which assists in the budget creation process.
Budget Public Input Sessions
As per the approved Budget Calendar:
Budget Input Session #1 January 8, 2018 at Garden City Park School.
Input session #1 January 8, 2018
Maria Caridi -asked that there be no cuts to special education services.
Ralph Ratto -suggested raising the substitute rate to match surrounding districts and attract candidates who are certified. He also suggested that retired teachers be contacted and asked to substitute teach.
Budget Input Session #2 Febuary 12, 2018 at Hillside Grade School.