Thursday, April 22, 2010

West Hempstead Board of Education Adopts Budget

On Tuesday, April 20th, the West Hempstead Board of Education adopted the proposed 2010-2011 School Budget. The budget supports all current educational programs and continues to maintain facilities with a budgetary increase of 3.69% over the present 2009-2010 school budget. As you recall, the 2009-2010 school budget presented a 0% increase over the previous year. Therefore, West Hempstead’s two year average increase is 1.85%.

The revenue side of the budget continues to be a struggle during these tough economic times. The combination of state aid cuts, reduced revenue from Island Park and lack of fund balance result in a revenue loss of over $1.8 million since July 2009. In addition, payments to the Teacher Retirement System, the Employee Retirement System and the New York State Health Insurance Plan have increased this expense area by almost $1.2 million. Due to circumstances beyond the control of West Hempstead, the 2010-2011 tax levy was already going to increase by 7.6%.

Through frugal budgeting and careful decision making, the Board of Education has been able to find a way to support our children and fund obligations to its employees while adding an additional 1.8% to the tax levy that was already a stark reality at the beginning of the budget process. While the projected 2010-2011 tax levy of 9.4% is admittedly very high, we ask that you consider the following:

Ø Including the projected 2010-2011 tax levy, the five-year annual average increase in the tax levy for West Hempstead is 2.74%.

Ø At the time of the budget adoption, New York State had yet to adopt a budget that finalized state aid to West Hempstead. Any additional aid provided by the 2010-2011 state budget will be used to decrease the tax levy when it is set in July.

Ø Since the beginning of the budget process, almost $1 million in expenditures has been cut from the proposal. These cuts have been made with the philosophy that we need to continue to help our children grow even when we struggle financially. Therefore, while some class sizes may be slightly higher, no programs have been cut.

Ø Before and after school activities and programs such as music and art help our children to become better educated and more cultured adults. They also give our children something to do during non-school hours at a relatively low price tag. These activities and programs have been maintained.

Ø The school district and education as our children know it would look vastly different with further cuts to the proposed budget. Someday, our children will be parents. They will look to the school to help their children learn, grow and mature just as our schools are doing today. We are worried that further cuts would severely undermine our ability to provide the support our children deserve.

We remind you to come to the polls on Tuesday, May 18th between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. in the West Hempstead Middle School Gym. We ask you to consider that while times are hard for all of us who are adults; it is incumbent upon us to protect our children.

Make a Commitment to Education

Remember to Vote on May 18th. It’s important!

6:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. in West Hempstead MS Gymnasium

Look for more West Hempstead UFSD school budget news at

Have questions about the proposed budget? Email them to

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