Elmont school district prepares for 2024-25 budget, BOE trustee vote


The Elmont elementary school district’s proposed $109.6 million budget for the 2024-25 academic year will increase the tax levy by 2.5 percent, falling within the tax levy cap.

The 2024-25 proposed budget is a decrease of $1.5 million from the 2023-24 budget according to the district’s newsletter.

“The Board has worked hard to minimize the impact of the budget on taxpayers (while) preserving the tradition of providing a strong educational program,” said Board of Education President Nancy Garlick in a statement.

The budget is broken down into three major parts: administrative, program and capital.

The proposed overall administrative budget is $11 million, an approximate increase of $700,000 from this year. The administrative budget accounts for costs associated with the education board, district clerk, superintendent’s office, curriculum department, legal department and other offices.

The proposed overall program budget is $85.9 million, an approximate increase of $7.7 million from this year. The programming budget accounts for funding extracurricular activities, transportation, library media centers, school lunch, health services and other areas. The budget attributes an estimated $21.5 million to special education costs in the district for the 2024-25 fiscal year.

The district plans to expand Fountas and Pinelli mini-lessons to grades five and six. The expansion aims to provide targeted literacy instruction and support older elementary students. It also plans to expand the SPIRE Structure Literacy Program to Tier 3.

The budget focuses on maintaining current educational programs and opportunities, class size, summer education and enrichment programs, cost-effective operations and maximizing non-tax revenues to minimize the cost to local taxpayers, according to the district’s website.

The proposed overall capital budget is $12.5 million, an approximate decrease of $10 million from this year. This portion of the budget includes funding for building and grounds, security, debt service and transfer to capital projects.

The capital projects include funding for roods, solar systems and building systems.

Throughout the course of federal stimulus funds given to schools during the Covid-19 pandemic, the district received an average of around $3.5 million a year for three years. These funds “addressed learning loss” during the pandemic, and the district’s website said that the budget would focus on retaining positions such as elementary guidance and instructional coaches that helped address learning loss during that period.

The state mandate that school buses must be zero emission vehicles is something the district said is a challenge for upcoming budgets. The plan is to begin the implementation of zero emission vehicles in the 2025-26 budget.

Three board trustees seats are up for election this year. They are trustee Sharon Earley Davis’ seat, President Nancy Garlick’s seat and Michael Cantara’s seat, which is currently held by trustee Tania Lawes. The candidates include Rashal Mahamud, Kathleen Murtagh, Dwayne Palmer, Nancy Garlick, Fatima Bhalli, Lynette Battle, Tania Lawes, Trecia Wong and Aysha Akter. Earley Davis will not be running for her seat.

Additionally, one seat on the Elmont Memorial Library Board is up for grabs on the ballot. The candidates are incumbent Natasha Warburton-Welch and newcomer Saira Chaudhry.

To learn more about the candidates, click here.