On May 4, the Port Washington Board of Education (BOE) held a meeting to discuss and answer questions about the adopted proposed annual budget for 2016-17. The proposed budget is $146,639,452 and carries a tax-levy increase of 0.80 percent. The discussion focused on staffing requests due to growing student enrollment. This year, 110 new students were enrolled in Port Washington’s School District. In the past 10 years, 60 to 70 new students were enrolled each year. The new efficiencies in the proposed budget combined with added state aid and the decision to use additional unexpended funds has allowed for a budget that will support staffing needs, maintain educational quality, avoid cuts and contain the tax-levy increase within the cap limit. If approved, the budget will fund an additional 15.7 staffing positions, 11.7 of which are instructional. These include four new elementary sections, which will address the additional student enrollment and lower present class sizes, some
of which exceed district guidelines. Other instructional positions cover areas including reading, physical education, special education,
math, business and ELS. The budget will also allow for an additional guidance counselor at Schreiber, something parents have expressed the need for. Noninstructional full-time security positions are also included in the budget.
Proposition 2, for the sale of land inside the Sands Point Preserve owned by the district, was also discussed. The 4.6 acres of land was appraised at $2 million. Some community members thought it was worth more, but according to Mary Callahan, “It is worth what the two parties agree on, it could be worth more or it could be worth less.” If approved by voters, the board of education will be authorized to accept offers on the property. Any sale of the land will be used to reduce the tax levy in subsequent years.
Voting will be held on Tuesday, May 17. Residents can vote on the proposed 2016-17 budget, elect three members to the board of education and vote on Proposition 2. The vote will be held at Weber Middle School between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.