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Lynbrook’s $88M school budget moves forward

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The Lynbrook Board of Education voted to move forward with its $88 million spending plan for the 2019-20 school year at its March 13 meeting. A budget vote is scheduled for May 21.

If approved, the budget would be 3.33 percent — or about $2.8 million — larger than the district’s 2018-19 spending plan. It would be partially funded by a $68.86 million tax levy, which falls under the New York state’s 2 percent tax cap limit. Paul Lynch, the assistant superintendent for finance, operations and information systems, told the Herald earlier this month that he could not determine the impact on the average taxpayer until April, when Nassau County releases the district’s assessment values for 2019.

Other revenue sources come from the $4.36 million the district collected from the eight properties that pay payments-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOTS, and from reserve funds.

The budget would fund increased staff. At a work session on Feb. 27, Maureen Berman, the assistant superintendent for personnel, said the district may add 19 more students to the Kindergarten Center next year, and would need to add an extra class to serve those students. Lynch also said that the district would have to construct another room in the Kindergarten Center to accommodate those students.

Additionally, the district would need staff for additional integrated classes in fifth grade at Marion Street Elementary School and West End School, reading specialists in the middle schools and a director of guidance to replace the district’s guidance chairperson.

The district also needs to update its facilities, the cost of which is also included in the budget, Lynch said. At Marion Street, he said, the district would need to convert rooms to accommodate for the large student body, and district-wide, administrators are planning to add another internet pipe to address syncing issues and the slow downloading speed.“…We need to accommodate for the robustness of our program,” Lynch said.

Voters will also be asked to approve the district’s use of reserve funds to pay for projects that were not included in the budget when they go to the polls in May.

The second proposition on the ballot would allow the district to use $473,000 in reserve funds to pay for technological upgrades, including new devices for ninth grade students and the expansion of the Actiontec project to the elementary and high school levels. At the middle school level, teachers were able to use Actiontec to project notes from any device when a virus infected the district’s desktop computers earlier this year. The proposal would have no effect on the tax levy.

Another proposition would ask voters to allow the district to use $2.45 million to fund renovations to the school buildings. The majority of those reserve funds would pay for a new elevator at Marion Street.

A public hearing on the proposed budget is scheduled for May 8.