The Carle Place School District board of education approved the 2017-18 school year budget, which represents a 1.68 percent change from the current year and $41,690,546 tax levy, a .71 percent change from the current tax levy.
The total budget is $49,279,492, an $812,546 increase from 2016-17. The school district has stayed under the tax cap, which means it’ll require a simple majority to pass and if it does pass, residents will receive a tax rebate check.
The district will receive an estimated $4,610,000 in state aid, an increase of approximately $120,000 from last year.
In a presentation at the Carle Place board of education meeting on March 30, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Personnel Eileen Fredericks noted that in 2015-16, the district was able to save money for future budgets by offering a retirement incentive, which 13 professional staff members took advantage of. Staffing and related benefit costs represent 77.2 percent of the entire budget for 2017-18 and the budget includes the addition of 3.5 full-time equivalent positions—an enrichment teacher at Rushmore Avenue School, one full-time and one part-time AIS teacher at Cherry Lane and Rushmore Avenue School, respectively, and a special education teacher at Cherry Lane in the second grade to allow for an inclusion class.
The 2017-18 school year will also include a modified class schedule at Cherry Lane and Rushmore, to allow for more instructional time. Arrival time at Cherry Lane will go from 8:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., with a 3 p.m. dismissal time for all, including kindergarten students. This change will make way for nearly 40 additional days of instruction time for kindergartenders, and the extra 15 minutes each day gives the first and second graders 45 extra hours of learning over the school year.
At Rushmore, arrival will be moved from 8:10 a.m. to 7:55 a.m., dismissal will go from 2:30 p.m. to 2:25 p.m. The extra 10 minutes will add up to 30 hours of additional instructional time over the school year.
Another change will be having the incoming first grade class, which is currently at five sections at the kindergarten level, go down to four sections, at 21 students each.
In addition to voting on the budget on May 16, Carle Place residents will vote on four other propositions. One will include the creation of a third capital reserve fund, to be used in the future for acquiring capital equipment and/or renovation, reconstruction and construction of district buildings.
Another proposition authorizes the district spending a maximum of $169,134 from the 2008 Capital Reserve Fund to replace all the remaining original interior doors at the Cherry Lane School and a third proposition authorizes the district to spend an estimated $4,694,910 from the 2013 Capital Reserve Fund on asbestos abatement (mostly at the Rushmore Avenue School and some other areas throughout the district) and to purchase a district-wide portable radio repeater system and portable radios.
The last proposition (listed as Proposition 5) is the election of two board members. Trustees Barry Dennis and John DiFrisco are running unopposed.
Carle Place residents can vote on the budget and propositions on Tuesday, May 16 in the Carle Place High School north cafeteria from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.