Thiele: Cuomo cuts on school aid likely restored

The state budget may be a couple of days late, but likely will be completed by the end of the week, according to Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor). While nothing is finalized, he believes the final budget will be “good news across the board for all [school] districts.”

Based on negotiations in Albany, the legislator said he anticipates money Gov. Andrew Cuomo had cut in the executive budget he issued will be restored in the final document.

There is also $9 billion coming to the state from the federal stimulus legislation that’s earmarked for school aid around the state, Mr. Thiele said. Again, how much each district will receive has not been released, but the assemblyman said he expects every district will get some money from that one-shot supplement.

The last piece of the budget that generally is issued is school aid breakdown by district, Mr. Thiele said, promising to provide information when he gets it.

Some media around the state have reported another $4.1 billion windfall over a three-year period beyond the basic state aid. But Shelter Island isn’t expected to see money that results from a 2006 Court of Appeals decision that held that New York City public schools were being denied a sound basic education by a lack of funding being provided at that time.

If that money is forthcoming, it will go to low income school districts. On the East End, Mr. Thiele said he expects only Hampton Bays and Riverhead might benefit from that funding.

Board of Education seats

The community won’t know until April 19 who is seeking seats on the Shelter Island Board of Education. Board President Kathleen Lynch said she’s “torn” about whether or not to seek a third three-year term.

Incumbents Margaret Colligan and Karina Montalvo have said they will seek re-election. Ms. Colligan is seeking a second term. Ms. Montalvo joined the board in 2020, replacing Jason Lones, who relocated off Island.

Ms. Lynch, a long-time massage therapist on the Island, completed her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling at the end of 2020 and is transitioning to a psychotherapy practice.

“The world needs a lot of care right now and my volunteer work may be better suited in that direction,” she said. “Still, the thought of leaving makes me pretty sad. I’m torn but I’m also pretty sure of what my choice is going to be.”

As a psychotherapist, she said it might be better to keep a lower profile in the community than she has had as board president.

Candidates interested in running for a seat can pick up packets with petitions that need nine signatures to qualify for the ballot. The school is on its spring break, but staff will be back on Monday, April 5. Alternatively, those who wish to run may print the petitions from the school website or create their own petitions. To secure a ballot position, all those running must submit their petitions by 5 p.m. April 19 to Board Clerk Jacki Dunning.

A list of qualifications to run for the Board of Education are contained in the board package online. Candidates must be citizens at least 18-years old and must have lived in the district for at least a year. Family members in the same household can’t both serve on the Board of Education and candidates can’t be district employees.