School Budget Presentation: The Public Is in The Dark

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Westbury High School. (File Photo)

On Tuesday, May 17, Westbury residents will be asked to vote on a budget that is yet to be presented by the Westbury School District Board of Education for the operation of the district through 2023.

Traditionally, there has always been a school budget calendar appraising the public of presentations since there is a timeline prior to adoption and actual vote on the district’s budget. So far, the only thing on the 2021/22 school district calendar is a budget hearing scheduled for May 3. This is especially poignant since some of our contemporaries and adjacent school districts have already presented as many as four such sessions.

Uniondale school district, for example, had budget presentations on Jan. 11, Jan. 25, Feb. 15 and March 3; Garden City had its revised hearing on March 3, Malverne on March 3, and again on March 8; and Valley Stream on January 18, February 14, and March 21.

I would not be surprised if this year’s proposed budget will be closer to $175 million, considering that the 21-22 operating budget was passed in the amount of over $168 million; all the more reason why there should be timely presentations to the public so that informed decisions may be made regarding this very important aspect of the district’s operation.

I am certainly at a loss as to what reasonable explanations are there to justify slighting the community in this manner. As the youngster would say, “What’s up with that?”

—Chester McGibbon

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