Roslyn School Superintendent Allison Brown has proposed a $122,468,423 budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year, a 3.21 percent increase from the current year.
The proposal calls for a 3.1 percent increase in the tax levy, which the district said fell below the state tax cap.
Brown proposed her initial draft at a Board of Education meeting on Thursday and it will go through changes, if need be, at additional meetings before a final budget vote is held on May 17. If approved, the budget will take effect July 1, the beginning of the fiscal year.
Brown said the proposal tried to adjust to difficulties without impacting educational programs. “In this budget, we are looking for ways to blossom and to grow,” she said.
She said challenging factors included inflation and health insurance increases. In addition, Brown said as of July 1, 2021, the district welcomed 235 new students.
To accommodate this year’s increase and plan for next year, Brown said the budget reflects needs for three full-time teachers, two in Harbor Hill School and one in East Hills School, among other necessary changes in the district including teacher assistants and monitors.
“We have large fourth-grade classes right now, we’re not waiting,” Brown said. “We need to split those grades going into fifth grade.”
The proposal also includes a transfer of $1,825,000 to the capital fund to complete projects such as infrastructure upgrades throughout the district.
For Roslyn’s elementary schools, curriculum upgrades are set for literacy, STEM, social studies and social, emotional and mental wellness.
In Roslyn Middle School, the addition of an environmental club and coding club are included in the proposal along with buddy programs for students transitioning to different schools within the district as they get older, among other things.
Also being added is a career day with the help of community members. “This is kind of a blast from the past,” said Michael Goldspiel, assistant superintendent for secondary education. “We’re talking about experiential learning and what’s better than a career day, or career fair, with some of our successful community members. This is something we really want to provide to our middle school students.”
Highlights for Roslyn High School involve building a financial markets and market concepts lab which Goldspiel said will help graduates.
“It’s going to give our Roslyn students that added edge when they get out of here and give them extended knowledge on fundamental and technical analysis,” he said.
Additions will be made in the form of courses for pre-med, introduction to biotechnology, an ethics class studying COVID-19 and advanced robotics, among others.
Board of Education President Meryl Waxman Ben-Levy commended officials on the first draft proposal and called the overall presentation “dynamic” and “substantive.”
“It has been years in the making for these continuums presented tonight and it’s so exciting,” she said. “We’re seeing the positives of building off our own accomplishments and goals in previous years.”
The next meeting of Roslyn’s Board of Education will take place on Thursday, March 3.