Oceanside School Budget Vote

Oceanside School Budget Vote

by Tim Kunken

On May 16, the Oceanside Union Free School District will hold a vote to approve a proposed budget for the 2023-2024 school year. Totaling up to $174.3 million, this budget is 3.83% higher than last year’s budget. It makes no cuts to existing programs.

The approval for this plan is included in the “Proposition 1” section of the ballot, and it also includes a 2.9% tax levy increase to compensate for the increase. This is one of three other propositions up for a vote alongside the election of school board members. The other two propositions are for the approval of new projects and continued renovations.

“Proposition 2” is the approval for various projects in the upcoming school year, which will be funded by the Capital Reserve Fund. At no cost to taxpayers, the Capital Reserve Fund is a sum of money left for school districts by New York State to pay for construction and renovation projects in the form of bonds.

For Oceanside High School, $13.5 million will be used to renovate and build upon existing space to make room for more facilities. This includes the building of a one-story tall building in the courtyard, which will be home to classrooms for engineering, business, and video production. In particular, the video production section will consist of a control room, studio area, and increased space for editing. Another project will be the remodeling of the existing woodshop into a new auto and metal shop which includes a one-story tall addition for a new car lift. This refurbishment will involve buying new tools, renovating floors and lighting, and the installation of mechanical upgrades and computer wiring. This project will also convert the existing technology room into a new woodshop.

For Oceanside Middle School, $1.2 million will be used to renovate the library. This will involve remaking the bookcases, furniture, lighting, walls, and ceiling, while also rewiring electrical equipment. This transforms the library into a new layout with space divided for the computer lab, a quiet space and media suite, an instructional area, and a collaboration area with flexible seating.

Lastly, “Proposition 3” is for the approval of an increase in spending for Oceanside Library’s annual budget. While it was previously set to $7,035,969 for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, now voters have the choice to increase that budget by $322,061. This will be used to continue funding for ongoing services at its Lincoln Shopping Center location while the library remains under construction for renovations.

Voters have a choice to reshape their school community. Residents, parents, and even students can register to vote as long as they are above 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen, and an Oceanside School District resident for at least 30 days prior to the election. For students who are eligible, this is a unique opportunity for them to present their voice and impact the community that has shaped their lives and will continue shaping the lives of others in the future. It may even be their first time voting. Regardless of whether an election is on the national, state, local, or school district level, voting makes a difference.

If you are interested in voting and want to learn more about what’s on the ballot, you can visit the “Business Office” section of the Oceanside School District website to view relevant documents, or you can watch the video addressed by Dr. Harrington and Mr. Cokley which goes in depth in breaking down the details of the 2023-2024 budget on Youtube.

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