Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District proposes $197M budget for 2024-25


Voters in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District will head to the polls on May 21 to cast their ballots on a proposed nearly $197.5 million budget for the 2024-25 school year.

Last month, a detailed presentation was given on the spending plan, which is $8,587,082, or 4.55 percent, more than the current budget. 

District administrators said the goal is to maintain current programs and services, address an increasing need for student support services, maintain and upgrade infrastructure, while continuing to provide safety and security for students and staff in the district’s five school buildings — John F. Kennedy, Sanford H. Calhoun and Wellington C. Mepham high schools, and Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue middle schools.

“It’s important to do what we always do when we make our budget, and that’s make sure the decisions we make now are sustainable for the future,” Mikaela Coni, the district’s assistant superintendent for business, said. 

The district’s aim is to be efficient, maintain fiscal stability and optimize performance to account for fluctuations in state aid, inflation and increased costs associated with health benefits and pensions.

The budget’s goals are the key to everything that keeps the district flourishing for students, Coni said.

“(The budget is) maintaining our programs, providing enhanced learning opportunities for our students, addressing increasing needs and student support, and ensuring our facilities provide a safe and secure environment for all of our students, faculty and staff, (while) continuing to be successful in the digital age by making sure our budget includes network infrastructure upgrades and device upgrades,” Coni said.

The plan includes an increase in the tax levy, the total amount of money that will be collected from taxpayers in the district, of 2.55 percent. The tax levy for the budget for the coming school year is $133,188,420.

The tax levy is responsible for about two-thirds, or 67.45 percent, of the budget’s total revenue. State and federal aid represents about a quarter, or 25.97 percent, with the rest coming from financial reserves or local sources.

“It’s not an easy task to make sure we’re able to afford all of these opportunities for our students,” Coni said. “But thanks to the collaboration of our administrative teams, our central office teams, and the leadership of our board of education, it helps us do everything we can.”

The district will allocate about 75 percent of the budget to fund various programs, 13 percent for capital expenses and 12 percent for administrative expenditures.

The budget for curriculum and instruction almost doubled, increasing by $198,391, or 96.26 percent, with the largest changes earmarked for equipment, supplies and materials, including AI desktops, a 3D printer and tools for metal and woodworking.

Scott Bersin, the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said he sees new opportunities for how to prepare students for the future with modern technology and teaching techniques.

“Some of the enhancements include increasing the number of students in the middle level getting into our accelerated programs, because that increases their opportunities a great magnitude,” he said.

The district is continuing to incorporate STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art and math — into its curriculum, as well as pursuing online learning opportunities.

“We’re trying to build career pathways at the same time,” Bersin said. “We are working on our one-to-one online learning opportunities, the massive refresh of our devices and all the backbone information on our technology, and we’re working on wellness and emotional learning.”

In addition to the school budget, residents will vote on two other propositions on the May 21 ballot — the approval of a $2.1 million upgrade and replacement plan for various facilities in Kennedy High School over the summer of 2025, using existing capital reserves, and the establishment of a capital reserve with a maximum funding of $10 million, with a term of 12 years.

Taxpayers will also vote on May 21 to approve the budget for their elementary school district in either Bellmore, North Bellmore, Merrick and North Merrick. Polling sites are determined by which elementary district a voter lives in.

For the most up-to-date information on this year’s budget, and to listen to the budget presentation from last month, visit