Long Beach School District faces tough choices amid budget discussions


The Long Beach Board of Education Tuesday began discussing their the budget, in the East School gym, and parents were more than ready to speak their minds.

During the meeting, community members expressed worries about the future of East School and potential staff layoffs due to budget cuts.

The cuts have forced discussion about several options, including “repurposing” East Elementary, which has a declining enrollment and high maintenance costs. Under this plan, administrators from East School would move to Lindell and Lido elementary schools, with the possibility of cutting two assistant principal positions.

Alternatively, there could be staff and program reductions across the district.

Educators have been focused on state aid for local schools since Jan. 16, when Gov. Kathy Hochul unveiled her proposed fiscal year 2025 budget.

In response to a resident’s question about what would happen to East School, Gallagher assured that the board would establish an advisory board to oversee all matters related to the school by June.

The governor’s spending plan includes about $35 billion in state aid next year, an increase of $825 million, or 2.4 percent. It is the largest investment in education in the state’s history.

Nonetheless, some school districts, including Long Beach, are facing major potential cuts. In Nassau County, 10 districts are set to lose some aid funding in the proposed spending plan, including Long Beach, Oceanside, Island Park, Lawrence and Oyster Bay. In Suffolk, 34 districts would see less aid money.

This school year, the Long Beach School District received just over $28 million in total aid. In the governor’s proposed budget, the district would receive just over $25 million in 2024-25, a decrease of $3.3 million, or just under 12 percent. The district’s foundation aid would drop from $19.5 million to just over $15 million.

More information regarding the budget is to come soon.