Riverhead School District

Carney’s $125.7M budget carries 3.76 percent spending increase

Riverhead School District Superintendent Nancy Carney is projecting a nearly $4.5 million spending increase for next year’s budget due to added costs in instruction, security and debt service, among other expenses.

Ms. Carney’s proposed $125.7 million spending plan includes a 7.6 percent hike for the general classroom teaching, instruction and support portion of the budget. That’s nearly a $2.9 million increase over the current school year, according to the presentation she gave at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

The teacher salary portion of the budget totals about $35.2 million, up 6.7 percent. Other instructional salaries totalling $3.1 million carries a 6 percent increase and includes six new ESL teachers.

Other proposed hires include two bilingual teachers for Phillips and Roanoke elementary schools, a technology teacher for the high school and Pulaski Street School, and an elementary teacher for either Riley or Aquebouge elementary schools, which is expected to be determined once the district crunches enrollment numbers. In addition, part-time positions for art and health at the high school, social studies at the middle school and a math teacher at Riley Avenue Elementary School, as well as three computer lab aides are also included in Ms. Carney’s proposal.

The total tuition budget for Riverhead Charter School, which has recently expanded its program through eighth grade, is estimated to be $3.1 million, a 23.7 percent increase for 2015-16.

Ms. Carney also predicts more students will enroll in career and technical education courses at BOCES. That $321,000 expense carries a nearly 40.2 percent hike, she said.

The district is also planning to spend about 30.5 percent more next year for electronic and printed textbooks. The nearly $468,000 budget would go toward purchasing new software and digital programs, she said.

Other instructional areas including counseling, guidance, computers and technology carry a 3.3 percent increase. The $26.2 million budget also includes expenses for additional services like summer school, extra curricular activities and athletics.

During previous school board meetings, Ms. Carney has said her budget also includes a $6.2 million debt service payment, up 28 percent, that stems from the $78 million voter-approved capital improvement bond; and $6.1 million for transportation, a 5.8 percent hike.

Ms. Carney is scheduled to give a presentation March 24 on next year’s anticipated revenues, projected tax levy and other ballot items.

The school board is expected to adopt the spending plan April 14 and the budget vote is set for May 19.

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Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated in the headline that next year’s budget is proposed to increase by 7.6 percent.