At its board meeting of Monday, April 14, the Glen Cove Board of Education officially and unanimously voted to accept the proposed budget for the upcoming 2008 - 2009 school year.
The approved budget is not much different from the proposed "bare bones" budgets Superintendent of Schools Dr. Larry Aronstein has prided himself on presenting since the budget process began. A new asset, however, came in the form of the newly approved state budget, which has been, in the words of the superintendent, "somewhat generous to Long Island," and as such, has increased the amount of state aid Glen Cove will be receiving this year. Until the state budget was approved, it was believed that state aid would reflect a projected decrease of $3 from last year's allotment; however, the district has learned it will receive $129,171. The dollar increase translates to a 1.61 percent increase in state aid.
The total Glen Cove budget for the upcoming school year is $67,502,044, a year-to-year increase of 2.99 percent. Dr. Aronstein repeated what he has said at prior budget meetings, that to his knowledge, the Glen Cove budgetary year-to-year increase is the lowest of any district on Long Island. The superintendent attributes this to a frugal and sensible policy to "ask for what is needed - no more, no less."
Thanks to the unexpected increase in state aid, the proposed tax levy increase has dropped a bit from the last budget report and now stands at a 4.70 percent increase. Dr. Aronstein iterated to the community that the contingency, or austerity, budget for Glen Cove stands at a 5.91 percent increase, which means, said the superintendent, "If the budget vote is no, taxpayers will pay 1.21 percent more [in taxes] than if the vote is yes." In addition, with an austerity budget, the district would not be able to do any capital improvements nor purchase any equipment in excess of $1,000. It would also have to make certiorari payments, which have averaged $1.9 million over the last number of years, from the budget, as opposed to using the certiorari fund the district has set aside.
Dr. Aronstein announced that a summary of the school budget can be found on the Glen Cove School District website, www.glencove.k12.ny.us. Click on Board of Education on the left-hand side, then on the Presentation Archives tab, then on 2008-2009 Budget Report.
The next meeting of the Glen Cove Board of Education will be on Monday, April 28, followed by a budget hearing on Monday, May 5, both at the high school at 7:30 p.m. The Glen Cove City School District budget vote will take place on Tuesday, May 20 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Connolly School, Landing School, Finley Middle School and the Glen Cove Boys and Girls Club.