Mineola ed board adopts $98M school budget

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Mineola ed board adopts $98M school budget
The Mineola board of education adopted a $98 million budget for the 2018-2019 year. (Photo by Rebecca Klar)

The Mineola Board of Education on Tuesday night adopted a $98,195,200 budget for the 2018-19 school year, a 3.97 percent increase from the current budget.

The proposed increase in the tax levy is 1.96 percent, below the district’s allowable 2.12 percent tax levy cap.

A 2.8 percent increase, or $210,000, in state aid, and a 30 percent increase in payments in lieu of taxes, or $550,000, helps fund the budget.

The largest budget drivers are increases in employee benefits, which are out of the district’s control.

Teacher retirement system benefits increased by 7.3 percent. Health insurance costs increased by 10.8 percent.

Residents can vote on the budget on May 15 at Jackson Avenue School and Meadow Drive School.

There are also two Board of Education seats up for re-election.

President Christine Napolitano and Trustee Brian Widman are seeking re-election for three-year terms.

Superintendent Michael Nagler said there will be no meet-the-candidates night this year as both candidates are running unopposed.

The budget allocates $4 million toward transfers to capital projects. A portion of the $4 million will go toward putting air conditioning in all classrooms at the high school.

Other portions of the $4 million will go toward security upgrades districtwide. Certain security upgrades include a driver’s license scan and visitor badge system; Nagler said he will be testing different system in the coming weeks.

The security upgrades will also place panic buttons on the walls and replace all interior doors on the first floor of the high school with automated locks.

Nagler said the automated locks initiative will likely be expanded throughout the district in coming years, but the district will start with the high schools since most active shootings nationwide happen in high schools.

Other portions of the $4 million transfer to capital spending will go toward redoing the Hampton South parking lot and creating a middle school parent drop off area on Garfield Avenue.

The budget also funds all current education, extracurricular and athletic programs.

Included in the budget is funding for three new Advance Placement courses: AP Human Geography, AP Computer Principles and AP Capstone Research.

The budget also expands the dual language program to the seventh grade, brings robotics course to all sixth-graders and expands the advanced manufacturing and entrepreneurship courses.

The budget includes $500,000 for facilities, which will go toward new flooring in the high school and middle school main offices. The Jackson Avenue School library will also be completely renovated.

The budget also allocates $530,000 for equipment that will fund new furniture for 14 classrooms districtwide, a new truck for facilities and playground equipment for Hampton Street School.

 

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