Written by Daniel Offner Friday, 09 May 2014 00:00
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.
Saturday, 30 August 2014 00:00
There was a time when people knew what they were eating. Frozen meals, fast food chains and ingredients impossible to pronounce were non-existent. Instead, simple ingredients and meals were all made from scratch.
Joann P. Magri, owner of The Divine Olive, is keeping this way of eating alive. Offering hungry customers with a choice in quality foods and ingredients, Magri encourages customers to make their own meals. With shelves stocked full of 18-year-old vinegars straight from Modena, Italy, to extra virgin olive oils infused with various herbs and flavors, the Divine Olive features a variety of organic and vegan products, all 100 percent natural. It even has handmade spaghetti and fresh bread, which perfectly pairs with all of their other products.
Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00
It’s a cute little ‘bug.’ What it represents, however, is anything but cute.
An unusual-looking Volkswagen is toodling around Long Island this month. Painted to resemble the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), the VW Beetle is part of efforts by the US Department of Agriculture to eliminate the pest, which can destroy 70 percent of an area’s tree canopy, according to the agency. Initially, officials held hope for complete eradication from about 23 square miles of LI designated as infested or at risk by 2016. Instead, this “landcape-altering pest” is spreading.
Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00
It will be difficult to top the exhilaration of being crowned Nassau County Champs, but the 2014 Farmingdale Dalers will begin their defense of the title on Sept. 13 at rival Massapequa—whom they beat to claim the crown.
“The attitude is that we have to prove it again,” said Head Coach Buddy Krumenacker, who has been at the helm since 1993. “But I think we’ll be okay,” he added.
Thursday, 21 August 2014 00:00
Register now as classes fill up quickly and you don’t want to miss out on the chance to join in trapeze workshops at Eisenhower Park’s I.FLY this fall.
“I.FLY was designed to give kids and adults the ability to fulfill their dreams of being in the circus,” says instructor Anthony Rosamilia. “Flying through the air never gets boring. At I.FLY, we help people create lifelong memories.”