Herald Schools

East Rockaway school officials talk 2018-19 budget


East Rockaway School District officials held their third meeting on the 2018-19 budget on March 13.

Jacqueline Scrio, the district’s assistant superintendent for finance and operations, said the preliminary tax levy increase is 2.32 percent, providing the district $676,172. Scrio noted that the tax levy, which is the total amount that a district must collect in property taxes to meet expenses, is not final. “This could still change if the governor’s proposal comes out and for some reason the building aid changes,” Scrio said. “That’s not typical, but it could happen.”

Scrio went over the amount the district is budgeting to pay for supplies, contractual obligations, BOCES, salaries and equipment.

She said that reserve funds would also be used for many proposals to increase security enhancements to the schools at no additional cost to taxpayers. They include adding cameras, monitoring devices and vestibules to all school buildings. The vestibules would be between the first set of doors in the school and the second layer of doors, which would have buzzers on them.

“It’s really hardening the entrance ways so that both of those doors will have buzzers on them and the second set of doors would be more secure,” Superintendent Lisa Ruiz said. “It provides an additional layer of security. God forbid there was an emergency, it allows time to alert people or to respond to any kind of problem that happens.”

The reserves will also be used to fund the continuation of the 1:1 tablet initiative, and other technology projects. The next budget meeting is scheduled for April 10, during which Scrio will address district initiatives, go over the three-part budget and provide a revenue review.