The New Hyde Park-Garden City Park Board of Education adopted a $35,525,755 budget for 2013-14 on Monday, a 2.99 percent increase that allows the district to stay below the state-mandated tax cap.
Superintendent of Schools Robert Katulak said the board struggled to maintain academic programs and support services, and keep class sizes within district guidelines in the face of costs mostly outside the district’s control.
“We have trained to maintain the concept of ‘highly qualified professionals’ with a laser-like focus on staff development tied to district goals and program implementation, and to maintain current teaching staff to help foster our local economy,” Katulak said.
“Most of our costs are driven by factors beyond our control,” he said.
These included , he said, “skyrocketing” pension and health care costs, contacts that are required to be paid “despite a lack of settlement,” and continued unfunded mandates from state and federal governments.
“These factors must be addressed through cost cutting, collaborative agreements that increase efficiency and save money, and tightening up on expenses,” Katulak said.
The public will vote on the budget on May 21. If it is rejected, a second vote will be held on June 18.