Proposed Budget Expands Programs; Meets Allowable Tax Levy

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Budget Photo 2
The Lynbrook Board of Education held a work session on Feb. 27 to discuss the Lynbrook Public Schools’ 2019-20 budget. Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for finance, operations and information systems presented a summary of proposed expenditures, revenues and use of reserves. The proposed budget of $88,035,308 will result in a tax levy of $68,865,638, meeting the state’s maximum allowable tax levy increase of 2.26 percent.

Maureen Berman, assistant superintendent for personnel, transportation and student support services, outlined staffing needs and enrollment projections for the 2019-20 school year. This includes the addition of 5.80 staff members and a new director of guidance position to oversee K-12 guidance programs as per the state mandate. The new director position would replace the current guidance chairperson position overseeing grades 6-12. Due to the projected enrollment, Berman discussed adding one new class at the Kindergarten Center and at Marion Street School and eliminating a class at West End School. 

Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment, outlined the programs, curriculum enhancements and initiatives proposed for next year. At the elementary level, Dr. Beleckas spoke about a centralized Voyager program at West End School, an enrichment program in each classroom for grades 3-5 and completing the final phase of the integrated co-teaching expansion. This would feature an inclusion class for fifth-grade at both Waverly Park and West End schools.
 
At the elementary and middle school level, schools will implement the Teachers College Reading and Writing program to foster literacy. The middle school level will also implement the Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention program. This was previously only used at the elementary level. At the secondary level, Lynbrook High School will be partnering with Syracuse University for the first time to offer Syracuse University Project Advance (SUPA) Forensic Science, a new and exciting course which students can receive college credit for. In addition, the English 12R course will move to more contemporary works to represent more current fiction and nonfiction literature.  

Dr. Lynch provided the budget process timeline and spoke about the new budget requirements which include school-based financial reporting, resulting in 141 new budget account codes. He explained that some major funding in the district had been centrally located in the past but with this new mandate, these funds must now be broken up by schools and departments.

The budgets of the superintendent, board of education, special services and communications showed a decrease, while the budgets of the business department, facilities, special programs (adult education and summer programs) and curriculum, personnel and student support services increased. Due to the change in budget reporting requirements, the combined elementary school budgets and the combined middle school and high school budgets also increased. 

The athletics budget increased primarily due to contractual increases in coaching salaries and the fine and performing arts budget also slightly increased as a result of the success of the district’s student-musicians qualifying for music festivals at record numbers. The larger budget increases included benefit costs and salaries, primarily due to contractual obligations and new positions.

Dr. Lynch also presented a summary of expenditures, revenue projections and the use of reserve funds. Two additional propositions will be on the ballot along with Proposition 1, the proposed budget. Proposition 2, Use of the Technology Replacement Fund Reserve, will give the district authorization to use $473,000 from the Technology Reserve Fund for a touchscreen expansion to grades 3-5 at the elementary schools, ninth-grade 1-to-World tablet program, updates to Lynbrook High School’s architectural design room, a technology replacement cycle for computers and printers and the expansion of Actiontec devices to Lynbrook High School. Proposition 3, Use of Building Improvement and Equipment Fund, will go towards projects such as updates for the Lynbrook High School roof and first floor ladies lavatory, a girls’ lavatory at North Middle School and the installation of an elevator at Marion Street School. The district is requesting voter approval to use $2,450,000 from the fund for these projects. Dr. Lynch noted that voter authorization on the use of reserve money has no impact on the upcoming tax levy.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak thanked the building administrators and central administrators, including Dr. Lynch, for all their hard work in establishing a budget fit for the needs of the students, while taking into account the tax payers. 

The district is scheduled to submit its maximum allowable tax levy to the state by March 1 and the board anticipates adopting the budget on March 13. The budget hearing is planned for May 8, the last day to register to vote is May 15 and the budget vote is on May 21. To view copies of the budget work session materials visit the Finance and Budget page at www.lynbrookschools.org.
 

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