2024-25 budget and capital plans for Long Beach schools ready for vote


The Long Beach Board of Education held its final meeting Tuesday on the budget and capital-expenditure initiatives it has adopted for the 2024-25 academic year. The spending plan, which will be put to vote next Tuesday, totals $155.9 million, a 2.85 percent in-crease over the current budget.

“Thankfully, we did get our full foundation aid at the same level as we have in the current year,” Michael DeVito, the district’s assistant superintendent of finance and operations, said at the meeting. “Nothing more, but at least the same level, and no reduction that was proposed by the governor a few months ago.”

The proposed spending plan maintains salaries of teachers and staff as well as all of the district’s educational programs, and covers needed school building maintenance and administrative costs.

The Long Beach schools’ tax levy is set to increase by $1.6 million, or 1.5 percent. To cover expenses, the district will rely on other sources of income as well. State aid is expected to in-crease by over $350,000, to $27.3 million, while other revenue, including fees, donations and grants, is projected to drop slightly, by roughly $183,000, to $13.7 million. The schools’ appropriated fund balance, consisting of unused funds from prior budgets that will be available for use, is anticipated to increase by just over $500,000, to $1.5 million.

The district’s Long Island Power Authority payment in lieu of taxes, compensation for the utility’s reduced property taxes, is set to increase by approximately $85,600, to $4.4 million.

Proposition 2 on Tuesday’s ballot comprises targeted capital reserve fund expenditures to improve infrastructure at several Long Beach schools. The projects include replacing the synthetic turf field at Veterans Field, the field behind Long Beach Middle School; renovating interior doors and windows at the middle school; repairing the Reynolds Channel bulkheading at Lindell Elementary; installing acoustic panels in the Lindell gym; and removing a fuel tank at the transportation department.

Proposition 3 introduces measures for financial management. If there’s any extra money left over at the end of the fiscal year, it will be put into reserve funds to be used in the future.

When the district finishes the year with more revenue than expenses, it results in what is known as an operating surplus, which gives the district different options for financial management and planning.

“If we end the year with an operating surplus, we can either max out on the 4 percent, which is in our unassigned fund balance,” DeVito explained. Or, he said, “we can put some of those surplus funds into some designated reserve funds, such as the capital reserve fund, or it can be appropriated to offset next year’s tax levy.”

The mentioned percentage would be of the following year’s budget.

Ahead of next week’s budget vote and board election, residents can review the proposals on the district website, LBeach.org.

DeVito received thanks from teachers at the meeting for the “extremely clear and detailed presentations throughout the entire process.” The Board of Education also received thanks for adopting the budget amid complications this year.

Voting will take place during the day Tuesday at Lindell and East Elementary schools and the middle school. Those who are unsure of their voting locations can look under School Board Voting in the Election Information section of the website.