The Massapequa School District Board of Education adopted its proposed budget for the 2020-21 school year, which includes a tax levy increase significantly below the district’s allowable tax cap limit. Residents will vote on the $207,675,646 spending plan and board of education trustees via mail-in absentee ballot only on June 9.
The proposed budget supports all current academic programs in the district, as well as all social and emotional support services, athletics and extracurricular activities. It also funds debt service related to capital bond referendums previously approved by the community. Much of the work authorized in the January 2018 bond, including classroom renovations at the elementary schools and Berner Middle School as well as the installation of classroom air conditioning district-wide, will take place this summer.
The tax levy increase of 2.18 percent is below the district’s limit under the New York State property tax cap legislation. Recognizing the economic impact on residents as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the board of education decided to use an additional $1 million from reserves to fund next year’s budget and offset the cost to local taxpayers. The district also continues to apply funds from the tax reduction reserve, which was created following the sale of the Carman Road School in 2017.
“We are very mindful of the current state of the economy and the effect that it has had on our families,” Board of Education President Kerry Wachter said. “It was important to the entire board to put forth a budget proposal that is sensitive to the financial hardship that our community is facing while maintaining the quality education that Massapequa families expect and our students deserve.”
Distance learning has continued throughout the school closure, and the board recently authorized the purchase of additional Chromebooks from the current budget for students in grades K-2 for the 2020-21 school year. This expansion will allow all students K-12 to have access to a take-home device should the need for distance learning be required in the future.
A virtual budget hearing will be held on Thursday, May 28 at 8 p.m. Residents can visit the board of education page on the district website, www.msd.k12.ny.us. All qualified voters of the district will be sent an absentee ballot together with a postage-paid return envelope and instructions for completing the same. To be counted, all completed absentee ballots must be received in the Office of the District Clerk, 4925 Merrick Rd., Massapequa, no later than 5 p.m. on June 9.
Submitted by the Massapequa School District