PTA Executive Committee 2018 Budget Statement
The Executive Committee of the Garden City PTA would like to thank the Administration for their hard work in preparing the 2018-19 school budget and the Board of Education for their careful review of the budget.

We would also like to thank the members of our community who took the time to advocate on behalf of Garden City Public Schools and public education by participating in our spring advocacy campaigns for education funding and school safety. We are confident these grassroots campaigns raise awareness within our community about the critical issues facing our public schools, and that they have successfully communicated our community’s educational priorities to our elected representatives. Our roles and responsibilities as public education advocates are more important today than ever. We must all remain vigilant and continue to be prepared to take a stand in support of public education. While we may not always achieve the outcomes we desire, active parent engagement with Albany has become an essential part of the annual school budget process.

We understand the many challenges the Board of Education faces in submitting a school budget for a public vote. A school budget must reconcile our community’s high expectations for a quality education for all its students and its investment through the tax levy. This year, the Board was faced with a million and a half dollar budget reduction to remain within the tax cap limit--this in a year where uncertainty exists regarding the impact of recent federal tax law changes. We appreciate that difficult decisions were necessary in order to try to preserve the district’s programs and minimize the impact on students.

Looking ahead, we understand the continuing constraints facing our district. These include the potential for unexpected increases in student enrollment and student needs, the education mandates that are outpacing all available funding sources, the likely further reductions in state and federal education aid to Garden City, and the state-set property tax levy that has yet to be reexamined. We appreciate that such a situation is not sustainable in the long term, even in light of Garden City Public Schools’ record of spending less per pupil than comparable districts. Accordingly, we recognize that in the future, due to the constraints of the tax cap, piercing that cap may be both necessary and beneficial to maintain the quality of education for which our school district and our community is known.

The Executive Committee of the Garden City PTA supports the 2018-19 school budget and urges all community members to vote “YES” in support of children, education, and community on May 15th.

We appreciate all the Board of Education’s current and continuing efforts to meet the challenges ahead, and we encourage you to continue to work collaboratively with parents through our PTAs to tackle these and other challenges together.

Thank you.
The Executive Committee of the Garden City PTA