Port schools get additional boost from the state

Port schools get additional boost from the state
The Port Washington School District has announced a plan for reopening in the fall. (Image courtesy of the Port Washington School District)

The Port Washington School District will get a boost of more than $600,000 in additional aid for 2018-19 under the state budget passed last week.

The additional funding will bring state aid to the district to more than $9 million, up from almost $8.5 million last year.That difference — $636,750 — is a 7.53 percent increase, the fourth-highest increase by percentage in Nassau County.

Only the Hewlett-Woodmere, Lawrence, and Uniondale school districts had larger increases by percentage.

Port’s proposed budget for the coming school year is $155 million.

Karen Sloan, the president of the Board of Education, said the board had been hoping for additional funds.

“We had heard talk that we might get something more and we’re glad that we did,” Sloan said.

The money will go toward the hiring of additional staff, Sloan said.

At the last board meeting, Assistant Superintendent Mary Callahan said the district only had $400,000 to go toward more than $800,000 worth of additional staffing hires.

If the state did not grant additional funds, the plan would have been to just hire half the recommended staff. The $637,000 increase from the state will now be able to cover that gap.

“That was the hope, that if we did get more funding we could hire additional staff,” Sloan said.

The district’s budget was essentially ready to go at the Board of Education’s last meeting on March 27, but the trustees decided to hold off on a final vote until they saw the final state budget.

The board will have a final budget vote at their next meeting on April 17. The final budget must be approved before April 20.

The board will also determine where the leftover money from the state will go.

“A lot of districts are using the funds for security,” she said. ” But we have been well down that path already, that kind of thing we already had in our budget.”

And though she was grateful for the additional funding, she said it did not alter the district’s financial outlook in a significant way.

“You know, Port Washington didn’t get a humongous amount of money,” she said. “It’s not really changing the state of affairs to the extent we want. Things are hard and money is tight, and it’s very difficult for budget planning, but we’re happy to at least get this.”

Overall, state aid for Nassau schools increased from $1.013 billion to $1.052 billion, an increase of more $38.7 million.

The average increase was 3.82 percent. In neighboring Suffolk County, state aid increased from $1.79 billion to $1.85 billion, a $61.3 million increase.


No posts to display