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FAQ school voters guide 2020

An official Suffolk County Absentee Voters school elections

An official Suffolk County Absentee Voters school elections ballot. Credit: Newsday

FAQ

Q: What school year will this budget cover? 

A: The 2020-21 fiscal school year, running from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021.

Q: What changes have been made in the voting process?

A: Voting is by absentee mail only. Ballots must be sent to all eligible voters. Board meetings and budget hearings where financial issues are discussed are being conducted online. We expect this to persist even if Long Island reopens. Door-to-door electioneering is discouraged.

Q: When will we know the results?

A: Many districts anticipate the count will take longer than usual, due to the mass use of absentee ballots, and have arranged with election inspectors for an extra day’s tally, if necessary.

Q: What impact will the pandemic have on spending levels and the tax levy?

A: The pandemic cuts both ways. Districts are spending less on bus transportation this semester because students are staying home. On the other hand, districts will spend more on distribution of ballots. By far, the biggest potential impact would be any state decision to cut financial aid to schools due to falling revenues.

Q: What happens if the school budget numbers change later from what I voted on?

A: If the state cuts financial aid, districts would face a choice between reducing staff and programs, or possibly making up for aid losses through use of reserve funds or higher taxes.

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