School officials present final $123.6 million budget
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The district said that its anticipated revenue has also increased. Long Beach received about an additional $500,000 in state aid with the revision of the state budget in March. And next year, the high school will be taking in an additional 14 students from Island Park, which means another $300,000 in revenue for the district. And the district will receive an estimated $900,000 in compensation for the out-of-district students who come to Long Beach to attend special education programs.
“We are very proud of our special education programs,” said Weiss. “They’re so good that other districts send kids here.”
The removal of all four elementary teachers-in-charge, a highly contested cut among parents and teachers, was changed to just remove one teacher-in-charge at the Lido Complex. School officials said this was done to avoid redundancies in administrative staffing in the building, since next year it will house Blackheath pre-K school. The district also chose to keep all of its first-grade teaching assistants, and some maintenance and athletic positions were shuffled. At the high school officials restored a dean position, but other cuts to some teaching positions remain the same at the middle and high schools.
Residents expressed gratitude that the board listened to their concerns, though some said that they were still unhappy that one of the teachers-in-charge was being cut.
Many expressed concern about rising state-mandated retirement and other costs and also asked the board to consider repurposing funding meant for the school preservation plan and using it for what they said are more pressing projects.
Others insisted that the district shouldn’t have ruled out increasing operating costs, saying that they would have no problem paying for a minimal tax increase if it meant keeping teachers employed.
“Maybe you can afford it, but I’m trying my best to represent everybody,” said trustee Dennis Ryan, who said many seniors on fixed incomes cannot afford what seems like a small increase.
The school board will vote to adopt the budget at the April 23 meeting, at 7:30 p.m. at Long Beach Middle School auditorium.
Budget Advisory Committee makes its recommendations