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Malverne school board adopts proposed 2020-21 budget

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The Malverne Board of Education adopted their proposed budget for the 2020-21 school year on May 19. This year’s budget vote and trustee election will be done by mail. Ballots will be mailed to residents, and must be returned to the district clerk by June 9.

Malverne’s proposed spending plan totals $59.6 million, 1.84 percent larger than the current budget. While the district was able to balance the budget, Board of Education Trustee Josephine Bottitta cautioned that cuts in state aid could be coming.

“We know that severe cuts are looming, but so far we’ve made a concerted effort to stay flat,” Bottitta said. “I’d have to commend administration for working so hard to get it where it is now, but it’s not over. We certainly need to have everyone’s help in . . . moving the budget along.”

The district’s tax levy increase is 1.99 percent, which is under the district’s cap of 2.03 percent this year, so the plan will need only a simple majority to pass. The spending plan, according to district officials, will continue to support programs such as facility maintenance, core curriculum and staff development, and improve the use of technology in the classroom, among other initiatives.

“Our administration has worked very hard with not much guidance from New York state,” Bottitta said. “They’ve worked very hard to keep up and to do the best they can to navigate through this. We’re at a juncture now where it’s critical for us to get this budget passed.”

District Superintendent Dr. James Hunderfund said that officials were already beginning to plan for new educational practices in the 2020-21 school year amid the Covid-19 pandemic. From stay-at-home initiatives to spending time in school for short periods of time, Hunderfund said that the district was mapping out every possible scenario.

“We’re trying to get as much input as possible in terms of suggestions or preferences,” he said. “As soon as we get some guidance from New York state, which we have not received yet, we will make those plans firm and let people know in advance so that everyone can plan accordingly.”