On Monday, May 11, at 7:30 p.m. at John Lewis Child School (JLCS) the Floral Park school board discussed the proposed budget for the 2015-16 year.
Superintendent James Opiekun started off the presentation by talking about some of the major goals for the school this year.
Some of the major intentions discussed for the upcoming school year were to:
• Raise student achievement.
• Maintain favorable class size.
• Continue all existing programs and expand STEM. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
• Comply with New York State educational mandates.
• Expand professional development opportunities.
Opiekun explained how the district has been above the state average in student achievement and was currently rising above the county average during the last testing cycle. The superintendent also discussed how the district had replaced 15 positions since the 2012-13 school year. During that gap, Floral Park has created nine new positions in computer/technology (2), special ed (3) and general ed (4).
For this year’s school budget, the district is looking for staff increases of 1.0 full-time employee (FTE) for STEM for $100,000, 1.0 FTE for Special Education for $100,000, .7 FTE for extended-day kindergarten for $70,000 and .5 FTE for ESL (English as a Second Language) for $50,000 to maintain their goal of a favorable class sizes.
Assistant Superintendent for Business Michael Fabiano spoke about the tax aspects of the budget. He explained that proposed budget-to-budget increase would be 2.81 percent. The average school tax increase will be approximately $112.80 per year of $9.40 per month.
Some of the increases for the budget will be for maintaining the infrastructure of the schools, 2015-16 appropriation for the JLCS and Floral Park-Bellerose School(FPBS) bathroom reconstruction and parking lot restoration and expansion.
Fabiano explained some of the projects that have been completed through the 3.4 million vote approved in the 2012 bond. Since that time the Floral Park schools have gone through repairs of the roof, masonry, boiler replacement and repair of the clock tower at FPBS. The money also helped to create new windows, as well as interior and exterior doors for the schools. This year also helps to account for refurbishments of the school’s kitchens, elevators and playing fields.
The Floral Park-Bellerose School District’s budget vote and trustee election will take place on Tuesday, May 19, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.