East Rockaway school administration arrives at 2017-18 budget number


East Rockaway School District administrators announced the proposal of a $38,274,432 budget for the 2017-18 school year at their April 4 meeting.

According to Jacqueline Scrio, the district’s assistant superintendent for finance and operations, the budget is $161,849 less than the 2016-17 school year. She explained that part of the reason the budget is lower is because the debt service rolled off from the district borrowing money in 2002 and from a bond in 2000.

“I think we’re in a good spot right now,” Scrio said of the school’s finances during her presentation of the budget.

Scrio said that 74.29 percent of it is made up of the programs, which is everything that impacts the students directly. She noted that 12.79 percent goes toward capital projects for the upkeep of the building such as heating and other accommodations, and 12.92 of it goes toward paying the administration.

She said the consumer price index is set at 1.26 percent, which means East Rockaway’s preliminary tax levy increase is up .88 percent, so the overall additional money the district can gather through the tax levy is $255,155

Scrio also said her budget relies less on the school’s reserves, which she compared to a savings account. For the 2016-17 school year, $1,034,193 came from the school’s reserves fund. For 2017-18, the school will use $638,798 because taking money from the reserves is like “depleting your savings account,” according to Scrio. The school is also using $760,000 from its fund balance, which is money left over from last year.

The district received an increase of $45,276 from state aid and $107,399 in foundation aid.

The district will hold a budget adoption on April 20 and a budget hearing on May 9. The vote is set for May 16 from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School.