2014-15 budget passed

Danielle Tawfik, News Editor

After much anticipation, voters approved the Port Washington School District’s 2015-16 budget on May 19. The $144,919,392 budget passed by an overwhelming margin of 2126 to 1088. This year’s budget includes a .59% increase in spending, as well as a 2.38% tax levy increase. To the relief of many taxpayers, the budget falls within the state’s tax cap.
The budget was created with an aim of developing a higher quality education program for students without dramatically affecting community taxpayers. While the budget is meant to maintain current programs and services such as extracurricular activities, resources, and staff, it also has incorporated some new changes. For example, there will be the addition of multiple teachers throughout the school district, as well as an increase in technological support districtwide.
Further, the budget calls for spending $750,000 on capital projects. Lucky for many middle schoolers, the air conditioning system at Weber Middle School will be replaced. The roof of the administration building is also going to be fixed.
Unlike other years, all voting this year took place at one location: Weber Middle School. Voters had the opportunity to place their votes from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
“I am really happy about the budget being passed. I think it’s so important for our school to have money for the
resources we need to have the best school district we can possibly have. Although I will be a senior next year, and the budget may not affect me that much, I am happy that the younger students will have all the resources and opportunities that I had,” said junior Sammy Segal.
Although many consider the budget passing to be positive for the district, due to the tax cap, this year’s budget had to be less than that of previous years.
“The tax cap is a significant deterrent in allowing us to increase our budget and as a result districts lose money year after year,” said Principal Mr. Ira Pernick. “We are no different than other schools in Long Island and New York State, so we just have to be as creative as we possibly can when it comes to supporting students.”
Although the budget may not be as high as it has been in the past, the school is trying to make the best of it.
“We live in interesting budgetary times in New York State, I think the budget being where it is will allow us to maintain almost all of our programs, but probably a little more difficultly than we have in the past,” said Pernick. “It’s just a situation in which we are going to have less money as a school and as a district than we’ve had previously to provide the same high quality education.”
Along with the passage of the budget, voters also placed their votes for the school board candidates. The elected members were Ms. Elizabeth Weisburd with 1,694 votes, Ms. Lauren Greenstein with 1,774 votes, and Ms. Nora Johnson with 1,957 votes.