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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

At a recent meeting of the Farmingdale Board of Education, school district superintendent John Lorentz discussed New York State’s proposal to invest $2 billion into districts statewide

through the Smart Schools Bond Act.

 

If approved by voters in the upcoming general elections, the act would allow the state to borrow $2 billion in the form of a capital bond to provide students with access to classroom

technology and high-speed internet connectivity, with the goal of equalizing opportunities for children to learn, adding classroom space, expanding pre-kindergarten programs, replacing classroom trailers with permanent instructional space and installing high-tech security features in schools. 

Over the weekend, thousands of Long Island residents flocked to the Village of Farmingdale for its 26th annual Columbus Day Weekend Fair and Fireman’s carnival. Running from Oct. 9

to 13, the five-day affair featured live music from Farmingdale’s own Electric Dudes and Long Island party band Superbad, a Fire Department barbecue, food vendors, a street fair, fireworks, carnival rides, games for kids of all ages and, of course, the Columbus Day parade. 


Sports

Last week, officials with the St. Kilian Saints baseball team inducted John Lombardi and Aaron Powell into their Hall of Fame. 

 

—Submitted by Farmingdale PAL and St. Kilian Baseball 


The 2014 Reilly Cup finals featured the two most successful OTHG teams over the last 9 years. Sal’s Place and Singleton’s have had 11 finals appearances and 7 championships between them during this period of time. They split 2 games during the regular season and Singleton’s became the winner’s bracket representative in the 2014 Cup by beating Sal’s deep in the tournament.

 

Sal’s took the first game 14-7. The game was close until the 8th inning when Sal’s broke it open with some timely hits and taking advantage of a Singleton’s miscue or two.  Sal’s held

Singleton’s to 7 runs with outstanding all-around defense, which was particularly impressive given that some of their significant contributors were visibly fighting through late-season injuries. 


Calendar

Homecoming - October 24

Autumn Fair - October 25

St. Kilian Blood Drive - October 26


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