District Reaches out to Residents
There is no way around the fact that 2012 promises to be a very challenging year for school districts across New York. The Huntington School District has sent residents a postcard inviting them to participate in a series of budget development sessions beginning January 30 and continuing through the winter and into the spring months.
"As you are aware, these are difficult economic times that continue to challenge us all," Superintendent James W. Polansky wrote to residents. "With implementation of the new tax levy cap legislation, it is anticipated that the budget development process will be exceptionally difficult. This process will involve the careful analysis and prioritization of expenditures so that maximum financial efficiencies can be realized."
Under the new tax cap legislation school districts may not adopt a budget that requires a tax levy exceeding the previous year's levy by more than two percent plus exclusions or one percent plus the rate of inflation plus exclusions, whichever is less.
"We encourage you to share your ideas and assist the Huntington School Board in developing a balanced, equitable and responsible budget within the constraints of this new legislation," Mr. Polansky told residents.
The budget related meetings will be held according to the following schedule:
• Monday, January 30: Tax levy cap presentation with updated estimates.
• Monday, March 5: Budget overview and a review of the areas covering the Board of Education, central administration and transportation.
• Monday, March 19: Review of the areas covering employee benefits, debt service, inter-fund transfers and capital.
• Monday March 26: Budget workshop session on instruction and staffing.
• Monday, April 2: Review of estimated revenues and an overall budget review.
• Monday, April 16: Adoption of the 2012/13 budget by trustees.
• Monday, May 7: Budget hearing.
• Tuesday, May 15: Budget vote and Board of Education election.
"These meetings are designed to enable residents to better understand and participate in the process," Mr. Polansky told residents. "There is no question that compromises will need to be made. Working together in this regard is critical if we are to maintain our focus on the Huntington school community and our students. I hope that you can join us at any or all of the upcoming events."
Each of the presentations will occur during regularly scheduled Huntington School Board meetings or workshops in the Jack Abrams School auditorium.