Greenport School District

Greenport school district sets budget timeline

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Greenport superintendent Michael Comanda at Wednesday night’s school board meeting.

The Greenport school board adopted its timeline to create a budget for the 2013-14 school year at a Wednesday night meeting.

Budget preparations will begin in earnest in January when teacher request forms are due to Greenport district superintendent Michael Comanda.

Teachers will be permitted to request what items they will need within a certain spending limit designated by school administrators. Before this deadline, teachers will be able to request supplies or additional funds, which will then by reviewed by the district.

On March 6, the first budget workshop for the school board will be held after a preliminary budget is prepared. The budget workshop will continue on March 20. On April 10 the budget will be reviewed and adopted by the school board, the timeline states.

The budget will be to the public by May  7, according to school documents. There will be a public hearing on the budget on May 14 at 7 p.m., and the budget will go up for public vote on May 21 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. If necessary, a revote will be held on June 18.

The district’s $14.9 million budget for the current school year passed last May with 68 percent voter approval. The margin of approval allowing the district to pierce the tax levy cap with a 6.86 percent increase over the previous budget.

Board members and Mr. Comanda said at the meeting it was too early to determine numbers yet for this coming year’s budget.

School officials said the timeline is roughly the same as in years past, but some school board members questioned why the budget discussions couldn’t begin earlier.

“I feel squeezed at the end, time-wise, like we’re racing the clock,” said board vice president Daniel Creedon. “I suppose I feel like we should start discussions a little bit earlier.”

Mr. Comanda said the state is often slow to provide necessary data for districts to base their budgets off of, adding that little can be done to speed up the process. He said other districts start earlier, but he is unsure how they base their preliminary budgets without state data.

“I don’t know how they come up with those numbers when they don’t have the numbers from the state,” Mr. Comanda said. “They’re making estimations [based] on stuff that’s just non-factual.”

The board will be able to add extra workshop nights if they are needed.

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