Riverhead High School. File photo: Denise Civiletti

A public hearing on the Riverhead Central School District’s proposed operating budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year will take place tonight at 7 p.m. at Riverhead High School.

The six candidates for two open seats on the board of education will be given an opportunity to address the public immediately following the budget hearing.

The board at its last regular meeting approved a $159.4 million operating budget for the upcoming school year.

The proposed budget, which goes to a vote by district residents next Tuesday, requires no property tax increase to cover a proposed 10.1% spending increase, thanks to a nearly $14 million boost in state aid delivered by the state legislature.

The proposed budget restores programs and positions cut in the current year’s contingency budget and adds programs, teachers, guidance counselors, psychologists and social workers. (See the budget summary provided by the district, below.)

The budget does not include new administrative positions that had been proposed by the district administration, to which board members objected at last week’s school board meeting.

The adopted budget also does not include anticipated federal aid under the American Rescue Plan Act, which is expected to total about $18 million over a three-year period. Those funds are to be used to “address learning loss” resulting from the pandemic and a number of initiatives are under consideration.

Tonight’s school board meeting will take place in the high school auditorium and is open for in-person attendance. The meeting will be live-streamed on YouTube . Questions or questions or comments for the Board of Education may be submitted here.

Due to pandemic restrictions, maximum capacity in the auditorium is limited to 100 people, which includes the board and district officials. Seats will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis, according to the district’s meeting notice.

Attendees will be required to comply with applicable executive orders, CDC and department of health guidelines and local rules including but not limited to social distancing, the wearing of masks, temperature checks and room capacity limitations.

In order to help protect the health and safety of our community and in compliance with the CDC, if you answer yes to any of the questions below, you should not enter the school board meeting.

  • Have you had any of the following symptoms of COVID-19: fever of 100 degrees or higher, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, shaking, chills, muscle pain, headache or a loss of taste or smell?
  • Have you tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 in the last 10 days?
  • Have you traveled internationally in the past 10 days?
  • Have you knowingly been in close or proximate contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has symptoms of COVID-19 within the past 10 days?

2021-2022 Proposed Budget s… by RiverheadLOCAL

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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.