Since schools officially closed in March due to the coronavirus, many school districts were forced to revisit tentative budget proposals for the 2020-21 academic year. With the anticipation of reductions in state aid and other areas, districts like Huntington and many others are left in a tough spot.
At a May 11 board of education meeting, the school district detailed changes to the budget. School officials expect a 15 percent reduction in state aid from the previously enacted state budget. The district would stand to lose close to $3 million in aid going from receiving $18.6 million to 16 million.
The district’s current proposal would see an overall budget total of $135,938,167 with a 1.77 percent increase. Its tax levy amount comes out to 112,350,000.
Included in the budget vote is a second proposition that would approve the release of monies for state-approved projects which will total to over $3.6 million.
Southdown Primary School: $340,000 would be used for rooftop solar panels.
Huntington High School: Partial roof replacement costing $1 million.
Finley Middle School: Science/prep rooms reconstruction and boiler replacements would cost $2 million.
Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School: New auditorium seating and flooring would cost $300,000.
Costs of repairs of Finley M.S lockers will also be included in the total.
The next budget meeting will be held May 18 where the district expects to adopt its revised budget. A public budget hearing has been set for June 1, and the budget vote and trustee elections will be June 9. Absentee ballots must be received by 5 p.m.
Residents will elect two individuals to the BOE to a three-year term commencing July 1 and expiring June 30, 2023. Board president Jennifer Hebert will be vying for reelection. She has served on the board for the past nine years.
Long time trustee member Xavier Palacios will be seeking reelection as well and looks to secure a fourth three-year term on the board.