Readers Write: Vote no on Port Washington school budget

On Tuesday,  May 18, Port residents will vote for the BOE candidates they prefer and whether to approve or disapprove the proposed school budget and 2.06 percent increase in school taxes. Here are two surprising facts to consider regarding our proposed school budget and tax increase.

First, our K-12 Port Washington school enrollment is DOWN by about 180 students — a reduction of over 3% in total students.  

The second key fact is that Port is getting the 3rd highest percentage increase in state aid of all 56 Nassau school districts! We’re getting a state aid increase of $3 million (Newsday, 4/8/21, pg.10).  This is an increase of over 30 percent!  In addition, we’re also getting federal aid of $3.5 million over 3 years as part of the American Rescue Plan.

Our reduced student enrollment of 3 percent and the 30 percent increase in state aid alone result in an increase of over 5 percent in funding per student withot any increase in school taxes.

The BOE wants to increase our school taxes by almost $3 million in order to increase the balance in our reserve accounts.

The proposed tax increase buys nothing for our children.   

Long Island’s  Newsday recently stated that “school districts should cancel planned property tax increases this year, and look to lower them next year.” (4/8/21, pg.26).  I fully agree.

While I admire most of our BOE candidates, I’m very disappointed the incumbents failed to give us a budget with no tax increase that would still provide an increase in spending per pupil of over $1500. 

Yes, we can spend $1,500 more per pupil for 2021-22 with no tax increase at all ! 

I recommend you vote “No” on the school budget and tax increase of 2.06 percent.  We’ll still be spending $1,500 more per pupil!

Frank J. Russo, Jr.

President, Port Washington Educational Assembly

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