Roslyn schools anticipate budget increases of less than 3% for transport, facilities, tech, athletics

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Michael Brostowski, the Roslyn School District's physical education, athletics and health director, said his department plans to invest in new equipment next year. (Photo by Teri West)

The cost of transportation, facilities, technology and athletics for the Roslyn School District is projected to increase by less than 3 percent in the next school year, district officials said at Thursday’s Board of Education meeting.

Overall, the preliminary budget currently sits at $113.3 million, a slight reduction from the $113.5 million that Joseph Dragone, the district’s assistant superintendent for business and administration, first presented last month.

Much of the decrease is due to confirmation of upcoming retirements, which often lead to lower salaried replacements, Dragone said.

Transportation Supervisor David Shoob proposed a transportation budget of $1.59 million, an increase of 2.27 percent from the current year’s.

The majority of that money is dedicated to salaries and transportation for students in special education programs, Shoob said.

The proposed budget also accommodates for three new vans and two new large busses to replace five current vehicles, the oldest of which are from 2002.

The technology budget is currently set to increase by 2.18 percent to total $3.12 million, said Jason Lopez, assistant to the superintendent for technology and security infrastructure.

The budget difference accounts for savings on costs such as postage and replacing Dell computers, a project that is now complete, Lopez said.

New costs include additional software, paper and toner and travel expenses for Lopez to attend a Consumer Technology Association conference in Las Vegas.

Recent achievements in Lopez’s department have included the installation of security film in doors windows and computer labs updates, Lopez said.

The technology team has also enjoyed success with using the Google Suite, which includes the integration of Google Drive and Chromebooks into classrooms, he said.

“You brought us into the 21st century, and now you’re taking us beyond,” Board of Education President Meryl Waxman Ben-Levy told Lopez.

The physical education, athletics and health budget should include equipment upgrades, for a total budget of $1.41 million, a 2.67% increase from the current year, said the department’s director Michael Brostowski.

“What that will do is allow me to strengthen and build and maintain the programs that we have and support our coaches and resources with additional resources,” he said.

New treadmills would account for a large portion of a $10,900 increase in equipment expenses, Brostowski said.

Enrollment in yoga, CrossFit and dance physical education classes is up for the 2019-20 school year, he said, with CrossFit’s enrollment more than tripling from 39 students to 121.

The facilities budget also has a proposed increase of less than 3 percent, said Thomas Szajkowski, assistant to the superintendent for administration and special projects. 

His proposed budget totals $3,106,752, a 2.42 percent increase from this year.

Twenty-seven percent of the facilities budget would go to electricity, Szajkowski said.

Building repairs will primarily be done in school gyms, and the cost in that category will increase by $28,200, he said. 

The district will also be purchasing new tools, which is projected to cost an extra $13,115. 

The budget will be adopted at the Board of Education’s April 16 meeting. 

There will be a final budget hearing on May 9 and a vote May 21.

The April 4 Board of Education meeting will include presentations on pupil personnel services and special education, enrollment and staffing and salaries and benefits. At the following meeting on April 16, Dragone will present on revenue and the tax levy.

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