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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

These days Long Island residents are trying to save a buck whenever and wherever they can, especially when it comes to property taxes. To try and lend a helping hand, Republican Sen. Kemp Hannon and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano recently teamed up for a property tax exemption workshop at the Farmingdale Public Library.

 

Communications Director Randolph Yunker with the Nassau County Department of Assessment explained that the workshops, which are held throughout the year in various communities, are a collaborative effort to bring the Nassau County Department of Assessments operations from Mineola to different communities, such as Farmingdale. He added that applications were on-hand in case any attendees were first-timers or pursuing a renewal of an existing exemption. 

If you stopped by the Farmingdale Public Library this past week, perhaps you noticed all of the paintings and art pieces currently on display. For the entire month of July, the library will feature the many styles of artist/poet Ruth Lawrence.

 

“I’ve been exhibiting for quite a few years,” said Lawrence, “I am always happy to show my work.”

 

Lawrence, 87, of East Meadow, said she first began painting at just 12 years old. She recalls, at the time her sister had been dating someone who worked at an art supply store, and had gotten her some oil-based paints as a present. 


Sports

Throughout the summer, the Farmingdale Observer will feature the box scores from the Farmingdale Baseball League Inc.’s 9/11 Baseball Tournament. 

July 6

Farmingdale Greendogs 7 - Seaford Vikings 6 (8U)

 

Syosset Cubs 18 - Plainview Hawks 1 (12U)

Runners and walkers from Farmingdale and all over Long Island and beyond are invited to join in the fun on one of the most unusual 5 Kilometer courses on Long Island at the Saturday, August 9th Lynn, Gartner, Dunne & Covello Sands Point Sprint.

 

The Run presents the Long Island running community with an opportunity to traverse a unique combination of paved paths and runner-friendly woodland trails at the Sands Point Preserve. 

 

The leading Nassau County law firm of Lynn, Gartner, Dunne & Covello has signed on to be the new lead sponsor of the event, with partner John Dunne and his wife planning on running the 5K distance. The Lynbrook Runner’s Stop will be back as the presenting sponsor.  


Calendar

Wounded Warrior Dinner - July 16

Youth Council Concert - July 17

Roller Rebels Tryouts - July 19


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