Parents, teachers and taxpayers finally were introduced to the proposed 2011-2012 school budget for the Valley Stream Union Free School District 13 (Valley Stream U.F.S.D. 13) last week.
Superintendent Elizabeth Lison and the Board of Education unveiled the figures at their Feb. 9 meeting at James A. Dever Elementary School.
“The school budget remains a challenging project,” stated Superintendent Lison at the start of the meeting.
With the current economic situation within the state, aid to schools has decreased. According to the district the state aid that is anticipated for the 2011-2012 school year is around $8.84 million, which is a decrease of 6.1 percent.
Valley Stream U.F.S.D 13 still needs to receive enough money to meet their goals of giving the students rich, diverse and comprehensive educational programs.
The proposed budget for this year is $42,538,261, which is a 2.89 percent increase from the 2010-2011 budget. This increase comes down to around $3,310.50 on the average home, or an additional $120 per average household from the 2010-2011 budget.
The Superintendent also informed the attendees of the meeting that unlike the other school districts in Valley Stream, the homeowners of Valley Stream U.F.S.D. 13 - which includes residents of Malverne - pay the most, because there is less commercial property than in District 24 and District 30.
Like many other districts on Long Island, positions are being cut within the schools. A total of seven instructional positions are to be cut, which includes teachers in the areas of special education, speech, ESL, psychology, gifted-and-talented, and classroom teachers. There is also a plan to cut four non-instructional positions, which would impact the noon-hour aides.
In the budget, there are a few proposed capital projects throughout the district. At James A. Dever, there is a plan to install new bathroom partitions, including seven privacy panels, sinks, counters and cabinets. The total estimated cost for this project is $14,723.
Carol Hawkins, the Valley Stream Teachers Union liaison, addressed the board and superintendent at the meeting. She explained that she "understands the difficult economic times," but feels that changes can be made in the budget that would not directly impact the children, unlike cutting teaching positions.
“The district is preparing for the worst case scenario. There is a possibility that the State Legislature will give more money to the district,” said a hopeful Dick Herman, from the Valley Stream Teachers Union.
Stay with Patch for more budget news in the Valley Stream U.F.S.D 13 and the Valley Stream Central High School District, as well as Malverne and West Hempstead.