By Kristy O’Connell
The New Hyde Park-Garden City Park school district administrators presented their 2017-18 budget on Monday for the final time before next week’s public vote.
“We concentrated diligently on putting forward a responsible budget without hurting students,” said Superintendent Robert Katulak, who presided over his final budget hearing Monday before his retirement in June.
The budget preserves all of the academic programs currently in place and maintains current staffing levels, Katulak said.
After 10 public forums and taking concerns of the public into consideration, Katulak said, the proposed budget of $38.2 million represents a 1.83 percent over the current year’s spending levels.
The budget includes a $29.9 million tax levy, representing a 2.08 percent increase, the maximum allowed this year under the state cap on property tax increases. This will represent an approximate $67.62 annual increase for the average homeowner, officials said.
The three-part budget consists of administrative costs, academic program costs and capital spending, with academic programs representing 74.56 percent of the spending, Katulak said.
“The only job that is left is for our contingency to come out and vote,” he said.
The budget vote will take place on May 16 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Michael J. Tully Park in New Hyde Park. A simple majority vote is required to approve the budget.
Also on Monday, Jennifer Garvey of New Hyde Park Road School was granted tenure and Kerri Rudd was appointed as a physical education teacher at Hillside Grade School.
“We take this very seriously,” Katulak said. “We did some math and determined that one teacher affects the lives of over 500 students during their career.”