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Fighting For School Funds

Restore state high-tax to this year’s levels. That’s the most important message that the Farmingdale School District’s Legislative Action Committee tried to get across when members of the committee recently traveled to Albany to present the Farmingdale School District’s 2013-14 legislative proposals. According to Farmingdale School District officials, Governor’s Cuomo’s proposed budget would remove $1.4 million in high-tax aid to Farmingdale.

“That’s a big number considering we have a 2 percent tax cap,” said Assistant Superintendent for Administration Barbara J. Horsley. “We’re asking, just return the high-tax aid. Just make it what it was.”

Horsley added that while Farmingdale is fighting for its fair share, it’s an issue that affects many Long Island school districts. 

She said that of the $50 million in high-tax aid removed from Governor Cuomo’s executive budget, $37 million of it comes from Long Island. And while efforts are being made to stop this cut in this year’s budget, there is also concern for the future.

“We’re worried that it’s a trend,” said Horsley, adding that programs could be at risk if Long Island continues to see a decline in aid from New York State.

The Legislative Action committee consists of students, teachers, administrators, community members and members of the Board of Education. Horsley said that committee members go to their lawmakers in the fall and when more budget information becomes available, a group travels to Albany to meet with lawmakers representing Farmingdale as well as members of the Education Finance Committee. Horsley said that in addition to getting Farmingdale’s message to state officials, the committee also is a learning experience for students who participate on it. Farmingdale School District Superintendent of Schools John Lorentz said that Farmingdale students well represented the school district.

“The Legislative Action Committee is dedicated to representing the pressing needs of our community,” said Lorentz,. “Our students were able to listen to their peers, faculty, and administrators, and create succinct and well thought-out proposals for the legislators they met with.”

The committee also proposed to legislators an agenda requesting additional educational funding from the state and federal governments. One aspect of their discussion emphasized the importance of ‘Teacher Center Programs.’ Students urged legislators to continue funding the program because of its core principles, which emphasize teacher mentoring and staff development. The main objective of the program is the enhancement of student learning, the foundation of any educational system.

Budget discussions are now underway, and a budget must be adopted by April. The next school board meeting will be held this Thursday, March 20.

News

Philip D’Aguanno, 79, of Melville, passed away on Oct. 15. Loving husband of Maria. Devoted Father, father-in-law and grandfather. A funeral mass was held at S.t Kilian R.C. Church. Interment Holy Rood Cemetery. Funeral arrangements entrusted to the McCourt & Trudden Funeral Home, Inc.


The Citizens Campaign for the Environment, a Farmingdale-based advocacy group, recently joined state lawmakers and Massapequa water district officials for a press conference calling on New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign the proposed Navy Grumman Plume Remediation Act (A9492), which has already passed both the state Assembly and Senate, in an effort to protect Long Island’s drinking water and the Great South Bay from the Grumman-U.S. Navy underground plume of toxic chemicals. 


Sports

Nassau County ASA President Keith O’Donnell and Chief Umpire Vincent Donnelly recently presented a $2400 check to Over the Hill Gang President Jim Reilly. The donation will be added to the funds the men’s softball league raised on behalf of Sal Pugliese Jr. as the young boy battles a rare hip disorder. The OTHG would like to thank the ASA for its generous contribution to a fantastic local cause.

—Submitted by the Over the Hill Gang


Farmingdale runners Theresa Gannon, Chris Bartlett, Patty Baker and Jenine Cottone each came home with an award from the Blue Ribbon 10 kilometer and 5 kilometer runs for Prostate Cancer at Syosset-Woodbury Community Park. 


Calendar

Thanksgiving Eve - November 26

Altheas Boutique Opening - November 29

Tri-Centennial Tree Lighting - December 2


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com