New York’s troubled economy, and the recently passed state budget that resulted from it, means fewer resources for our schools. Here in Hicksville we are facing a $1.4 million net reduction (10.3 percent) in State Aid, which is the fifth highest in Nassau County.
Against this backdrop, our school board has worked hard to craft a sound, fiscally responsible school budget that carefully balances the needs of our students with the very real concerns of taxpayers. This year’s budget-to-budget increase of 2.63 percent and the careful application of reserves to offset this amount bring the levy-to-levy increase down to 3.25 percent. It is estimated that the average homeowner in Hicksville will see an increase in his/her property taxes that will equate to approximately $128 next year. Is any tax increase ideal? Certainly not. However, the district’s multi-year plan presents to the concerned taxpayers, a future in Hicksville that puts students’ needs first and recognizes that excellent public schools are integral to a vital and vibrant community.
Hicksville residents have a chance on May 17 to vote for the biggest bargain in Hicksville, in Proposition 2 for the Hicksville Gregory Museum. For approximately $3.50 per family per year we have a state chartered museum that focuses on serving the educational needs of our Hicksville school district free of charge, while serving 40 other school districts that pay. All Hicksville public, parochial and K-12 schools get “hands on” instruction in earth science, natural history and Long Island history. Free instruction is brought to the classroom if preferred. Free “internships” are offered for interested students. All Hicksville residents are welcome to visit the museum free of charge (otherwise admission to the museum would be $5 per person).
This happened in front of my corner house that has a stop sign and is also a school bus stop.
Call me at 242-5298 for info. The 2nd Precinct responded and detectives are looking for the van.
(Submitted on Arbor Day, April 29)
You probably have a favorite tree-lined street in your community. Or a tree-filled neighborhood you’ve always admired. Or a favorite forest where you like to bask in the beauty of the trees.
It’s important to remember that those beautiful spaces aren’t here by accident. The forests we enjoy today – which give us both pleasure and environmental benefits – are here because of the vision, courage and hard work of generations past.
The Nassau County Firefighters Museum and Education Center is in the process of installing a 9/11 exhibit and memorial, which will commemorate the Nassau County firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice during the tragic events of 9/11. The exhibit is due to unveil late August 2011 and they are in need of $75,000 to complete the project.
It is with sincere gratitude that I recognize the tireless efforts of Fresh Air Fund volunteers in Nassau County as the country celebrates National Volunteer Week. Their commitment to helping New York City children is exemplary for all community members and truly embodies the spirit of the 2011 National Volunteer Week theme, “Celebrating People in Action.”
On Thursday, April 14, I attended a “Safe Kids, Safe Streets” Anti-Drug Forum held at the Hicksville William P. Bennett Community Center. The forum was hosted and organized by New York State Assemblyman Michael Montesano. The program featured expert panelists from the Nassau County Police, Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, Nassau County Department of Mental Health and the New York State Drug Treatment Court.
For me it is somewhat axiomatic that totalitarian societies like the Soviet Union collapse because of the freedoms they deny people whilst democracies like the United States collapse because of the freedoms they permit people. The latter part of the equation might seem odd until we consider the true nature of freedom. Freedom of religion doesn’t make people more holy, freedom of speech and press doesn’t make people more knowledgeable, and freedom to elect their leaders doesn’t make people better governed. Holiness, knowledge, and wise and just governance are moral, intellectual, and spiritual elements, not political, legal, or constitutional ones. This can be observed, writ small, in an unlikely local incident: the Gilgo Beach murders.
Editor’s Note: The writer of the following letter will be giving a PowerPoint presentation regarding funding and State Aid of Public Schools in NYS with a focus on the impact on Hicksville at the April 14 Hicksville Garden Civic meeting. See website http://www.hgcivic.org/meetings.html.
Can we afford to live on Long Island and still give our children a quality education? My answer is a resounding “yes.” However I don’t think that Governor Cuomo has yet touched on the solution. The true problem resides in the method of funding public education in New York State. Nationwide, public schools get 56 percent of their funding from State and federal sources; New York State is close to the national average providing 50 percent state/federal funding. Yet Hicksville, my school district, a relatively modest working class neighborhood with 5,400 students costing $20,700 per student, gets only 15 percent funding from state and federal sources. This is a common problem for Long Island communities. Yet a similar upstate city like Elmira, with 6,850 students and a cost per student of $17,100, gets 70 percent funding from state sources. If Hicksville School District received the same level of funding as Elmira, 70 percent, a typical house in Hicksville which currently pays $4,000 in annual school tax would only pay $1,450!
The State Legislature, working with Gov. Cuomo, passed a budget that does not include wine in big box stores. However, the big box stores already have a bill they plan to introduce to try to push this through.
This is a job killer, a small business killer, and worst, will increase underage drinking and driving accidents and fatalities in our state.
If you would like to help stop this bad idea, please go to www.LastMainStreet Store.com today. Click on “Take Action” then “Write a Letter” and follow the instructions to send Governor Cuomo and your legislators the pre-formatted thank you for keeping this bad idea out of the budget. It only takes a minute.
If you have friends and family that could do the same that would be very helpful and much appreciated.
Young’s Fine Wines & Spirits
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