Superintendent's Message

A Message from the Superintendent

Since the new year began, our community of leaders have been involved in several important issues including advocating for equitable distribution of State Aid.  On Saturday, February 2, a legislative forum was held at Longwood Middle School with most Suffolk County districts in attendance.  Fortunately, we had representatives from our administration team, the Board of Education, SEPTA, and a group of empowered high school young women eager to have their voices heard.  Clearly the forum’s purpose was to show the collaborative efforts of our schools and engage legislators with the real issues affecting our children’s future.

Topics of particular importance included resources for mental health, necessary security enhancements, legislation to curb vaping and equitable funding for Long Island schools keeping in mind the changing demographics and fluctuation in enrollments island-wide.

Special thank you to Assemblyman Palumbo and Senator LaValle for their participation in the event.  We must keep the pressure on so that solutions to the above issues are recognized and addressed.

At our February 14, BOE meeting we presented a fiscally responsible budget for the 2019-2020 school year.  Striking the right balance between meeting the educational, social and emotional needs of our students, while minimizing the impact on our taxpayers is an arduous task.  Indeed, the input we received from our community partners was essential to the development of this proposal.

Under the new tax cap era and the calculation requirements from New York State, Mattituck-Cutchogue’s allowable tax levy limit is 2.52%. The administration is presenting a budget with a tax levy increase of 1.9%. Important to note is that our expenditures only increased .26% or $107,101. Because of reductions in our revenue from last year when one-time reserves were utilized to reduce the 2018-2019 budget, this leads to the levy to levy increase in the year ahead.

The budget proposal includes a variety of enhancements including additional technology to advance learning and instruction, new elective course offerings at the high school to support the interests of all learners, more clubs at the elementary and junior senior-high level, necessary infrastructure upgrades and security funding.

As well, we introduced the Capital Reserve Fund priority items and the cost associated with each.  These initial ideas were generated by the Board of Education and the administration after considering feedback from various constituency groups last year and in this current school year. Some of these items include but are not limited to, new doors to better address our safety concerns, air conditioning in large spaces at both Cutchogue East and the JSHS and a turf field.  Keep in mind, the Capital Reserve was established last year with $3,750,000 set aside.  Purchasing of these items will not affect the tax levy. This money can only be spent on items approved by the tax payers in a separate proposition. We encourage you to weigh-in on these items at our future meetings.

The Board of Education will hold several meetings between now and our budget vote on Tuesday, May 21st to discuss the proposals included within the budget and the Capital Reserve Fund.  The presentation schedule and the budget documents are posted on the website under departments and then click on the Business Office tab. Please check back regularly as more items will be added after each meeting.

 

Together We Make a Difference!

Our Students~ Our District~ Our Community

 

Jill M. Gierasch

Superintendent of Schools