What you need to know for the school budget vote Tuesday

JULIE LANE PHOTO Superintendent Michael Hynes made his case to voters last week and hopes they will come out and support two propositions on the ballot Tuesday and re-elect three Board of Education members.

JULIE LANE PHOTO
Superintendent Michael Hynes made his case to voters last week and hopes they will come out and support two propositions on the ballot Tuesday and re-elect three Board of Education members.

 

When residents vote between noon and 9 p.m. on Tuesday at the school gymnasium, they’ll act on two propositions and choose three Board of Education members.

 

• Proposition one is action on a proposed budget for the 2014-15 school year of $10.47 million of which $9.25 million will come from real estate taxes. The proposed budget would increase the tax levy by 1.7 percent, staying within the state-imposed tax cap. Other revenue would come from state aid, a special legislative grant secured by Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr., interest earnings and money from the district’s fund balance.

The actual difference in spending from the current year to what’s proposed for the next school year amounts to $425,064 or 4.23 percent.

Program additions planned for the next school year include:

— A pre-school program for 4-year-olds.
— A new first grade teacher since there won’t be a combined kindergarten and first grade class in the fall because of the number of students that would involve.
— A new dean who will coordinate sports and gym programs as well as tackling various other administrative responsibilities.
— Restoration of a cross country varsity program for boys and girls.
— A part-time English as a Second Language teacher.
— A foreign language teacher to instruct kindergarten through fifth grade students one period per week in Greek, Latin and Spanish. Greek and Latin are new to the curriculum.
— A field trip for sixth graders to the Frost Valley YMCA in the Catskills to participate in team-building activities.
— A school store for the purchase of supplies.
— A new truck to replace one from 1998 and a new gymnasium scoreboard.

If the budget fails in two successive votes, the district would be forced to cut $155,063 from its spending plan and would be looking for cuts in the areas of capital equipment, materials and supplies, contractual agreements, conference and travel expenditures and Eastern Suffolk BOCES services.

• Proposition two is an action to enable the Board of Education to allocate $381,000 from its capital reserve fund for the following projects, at no additional cost to taxpayers:

— Flooring and carpeting
— An acid neutralization tank for the science lab
— A new fire alarm system
— Brick re-pointing and crack repair

The money has already been set aside in the capital reserve fund and would not raise taxes. But by law, it’s necessary to gain voter approval to spend money from that fund.

Finally, voters will be electing three Board of Education members. There is no contest as incumbents Linda Eklund, Elizabeth Melichar and Alfred Brigham are running unopposed, although voters are always free to write in other names.

 

j.lane@sireporter.com

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