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School Budget Road Show

Farmingdale school district administrators are taking the district’s proposed 2014-2015 budget on tour in an effort to inform voters about its $156.4 million spending plan, which would increase the district’s levy 1.74 percent from last year.

According to Farmingdale Schools Superintendent John Lorentz, this year’s budget looks to maintain the integrity of the district’s programs. However, he said, it comes with a reduction in teachers and support staff and a slight increase in class size. 

 

“Class sizes will get a little bit larger,” Lorentz said. “But the quality and integrity [of the classroom] will remain essentially intact.” 

 

Not everyone was so enthusiastic about the news. Farmingdale parent Camille Toma said she was concerned. “Class size is a big indicator of the quality of instruction,” Toma said. 

 

Assistant Superintendent of Business Paul Defendini said the average class size for  elementary school students in grades K-5 is going up from 22 to 22.3 students in the 2014-2015 school year. He added that typically, the district tries to keep kindergarten class sizes under 21 students.  

 

Based on the slides—that school officials will be passing out to different community organizations—the proposed 2014-2015 budget also includes the following reductions: number of K-5 sections; number of elementary P.E. and art sections; high school core sections; PAGE program; high school

P.E. and art sections; middle school technology and family consumer science; attendance and social work services and fifth grade general music .It would also eliminate sixth grade introduction to foreign language, and computer skills electives. 

 

However, the presentation showed that the future is not completely grim for New York State taxpayers. 

 

According to Defendini, in the upcoming fiscal year, New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo has plans to implement a property tax freeze that will provide local taxpayers with a rebate--provided the district stays within the levy limit--which will cover the cost of the property tax increase next year.  

 

“Every resident gets a check in the mail for the increase in the tax bill, as long as the district stays within the levy limit,” Defendini said. 

 

Because the district had the foresight to put money in reserves, it will seek voters approval this year to allocate funding from the reserves towards capital improvement projects. This will come at no cost to taxpayers, as the funding is already available.

 

In case you missed the presentation, the district has posted  slides on  its website at farmingdaleschools.org. It also lists when and where there will be upcoming presentations from the district leading up to the school budget vote on May 20.

News

After spotting an abandoned cemetery at the corner of Grant Avenue and Rose Street in the heart of downtown Farmingdale, resident Vicki Gruber became inspired to trace the lineage of the Van Cott family—some of the earliest settlers in the Farmingdale community. Gruber, a corporate and securities attorney, said that after approaching the village about the history of the cemetery, she took it upon herself to do the research. Compiling three or four years worth of newfound information, Gruber discovered that each of the 16 plots in the cemetery are direct descendants of Claes Cornelissen Van Cats, a Dutch settler and firm believer in democracy, home rule and civil liberty. 

Farmingdale village officials will be holding a public hearing on Dec. 1, to reexamine school speed zones throughout the village, in order to establish a consistent school speed zone limit. 


Sports

At a special “wrap up “ meeting for the 2014 Marcum Workplace Challenge, Greater Long Island Running Club Vice President and Event Director Mindy Davidson of Farmingdale, presented a special plaque to Winsome Foulkes, team captain of the Farmingdale-based Telephonics Corporation.  Winsome is retiring from Telephonics after a long and successful career and has led the Telephonics Corporation in the Marcum Workplace Challenge since its inception.  

There is simply no better way for runners and their families to celebrate the Holiday Season than by being part of the fun at the Carter, DeLuca, Farrell & Schmidt Holiday 5 Kilometer Run, and on Saturday morning, Dec. 20, the Run will be celebrating its 27th anniversary edition at the John F. Kennedy Middle School in Bethpage. The run will start at 9:30 a.m. on Broadway in Bethpage.


Calendar

Les Miserables - November 21

The Wedding Singer - November 21

Holiday Parade - November 22


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