The final version of Farmingdale School District's 2011-12 school budget was discussed one last time at a public hearing on Tuesday night.
"We needed to establish a tax levy that has been on or about what the community has been willing to support," said Paul Defendini, assistant superintendent for Business, at Tuesday night's meeting. "And what our district has been doing over the past four years is providing tax levies that have been on the lower side of Nassau County in comparison to other school districts in the County."
Many Farmingdale residents at the meeting expressed approval for the and its 2.52% tax levy increase.
"The District does a great job of taking our money and stretching it," said Denise Turetsky, council president of the PTA.
The District faced spending cuts, largely because of a $5 million loss in state aid and federal funding.
Defendini said that states look at Medicaid and school districts, the two largest sources of funding that the state has, when they are trying to balance the state budget. As a result, Farmingdale School District lost $4.1 million through New York State's Gap Elimination Adjustment.
"We've also lost $1.1 million in federal funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," said Defendini, which he says was in place for the past two school years to provide supplemental funding to support school districts.
With the final version of the proposed budget, elementary school class size is estimated at 21.7, which "still puts us on or about the median for Nassau County," Defendini said.
Elementary schools will offer fewer class sections in art, music and physical education. Middle school reductions in sports, science and Languages Other Than English (LOTE) are projected. Business, health, library and LOTE reductions are proposed on the high school level. District-wide, the budget cites cuts in after school clubs and support staff, such as monitors, custodians and cleaners.
Budget voting will take place next Tuesday, May 17, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., in the East Gymnasium of
"We want a plan that's affordable and competitive for students, and one that people can support," said Superintendent John Lorentz. "The success of the school district depends on the community."