The Wantagh School District hosted the first of four budget workshops last week and is urging residents to attend upcoming meetings about next year’s spending plan starting Monday night.
The workshops are aimed at providing an opportunity for the public to gain information about the budget process and they also allow the community to contribute ideas and opinions. The initial presentation was conducted by Acting Superintendent Maureen Goldberg, Assistant Superintendent for Business Dana DiCapua and Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. Maureen Appiarius and included an overview of the administration’s proposed working budget for the 2013/2014 school year including goals and strategies. The budget adopted by the board of education on April 18 will be presented to the community for vote on May 21 and will reflect input from the trustees, administration, and community.
Like most communities on Long Island, Wantagh has been hit by a combination of shrinking state aid, rising costs and caps on property taxes. Factors such as pending state aid will impact the final figures. To be informed and have a say, the community is encouraged to attend the remaining workshops that will be held on March 18 and April 3 at 7 p.m. in the Wantagh High School cafeteria and a morning session held on April 9 at 10 a.m. at the Wantagh Public Library.
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District officials said the proposed budget, which is “a work in progress”, would maintain class size guidelines, all athletic teams, co-curricular activities, AP and CL course offerings, elementary foreign language, Horizons and technology initiatives.
Furthermore, the new goals for the upcoming year include the addition of full day kindergarten; expansion of the technology initiative for academic assessments and infrastructure; inclusion of AP and CL (college level) textbook resources; expansion of Writer’s Workshop to fifth grade; introduction of new high school courses and electives and provision of digital instructional resources for the home-school connection.
The strategy for developing the 2013/2014 school budget involved keeping within the calculated state tax levy limit; a multi-year planning approach for student resources, textbooks, technology and facilities; maintaining focus of district goals and state requirements (APPR, Core Curriculum) and reviewing all staffing to realign resources with declining enrollment.
The March 18 budget workshop will focus on revenue and the community. Questions and input by the public are welcomed and encouraged.