File photo: Denise Civiletti

Riverhead Central School District’s proposed operating budget for the 2017-2018 school year will be the subject of a public hearing before the board of education tonight at the high school.

The budget, adopted by the board of education at its last meeting, will be put to a district-wide vote next Tuesday, May 16. Voters will also fill three seats on the board of education next week. Five candidates are running for those slots. See prior story.

The proposed $136,388,547 budget — a 4.38 percent increase in spending over the current year — calls for a property tax levy increase of 3.77 percent, which is within the property tax levy cap imposed by state law, when allowable exemptions such as capital costs are taken into account.

The budget provides for program expenditures of $102,114,096 — just under 75 percent of total spending. Administrative costs will run $11,431,931, or 8.38 percent of total spending. Capital expenditures ($22,842,519) represent 16.75 percent of total spending.

State aid to education will rise 10.28 percent in the coming fiscal year to $29,434,568.

The district will spend $2.35 million of its appropriated fund balance to offset spending and the tax increase required to pay for it.

For the coming year, the district plans to add several teachers and two administrators to its payroll:

  • assistant principal at Aquebogue Elementary School;
  • director of fine arts (district-wide);
  • middle school consumer science teacher (part-time);
  • elementary reading teacher;
  • 4.5 ENL (English as a new language) teachers;
  • high school math teacher;
  • physical education teacher (one full-time teacher replacing a .6 FTE position)
  • middle school science teacher;
  • Aquebogue social worker (half-time);
  • two special education teachers;
  • a technology teacher for high school and middle school.

Since 2009, the district’s overall enrollment has increased by 604 students, according to data provided by the district. The number of English language learners has roughly tripled, from 538 in 2009-2010 to 1,550 in 2016-2017. The number of special education students int he district is up buy 281, to 1,056.

Also at tonight’s meeting, each candidate for school board will be given three minutes to speak.

Tonight’s full agenda below: 2017_0509_riverhead_school_board_agenda

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.