Written by Rich Forestano and Dave Gil de Rubio Friday, 01 February 2013 00:00
Four Nassau County school districts are to receive increases in state aid while two others are slated to see a decline, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s preliminary budget figures released last week.
The Herricks, Sewanhaka, East Williston and Elmont districts are looking at state aid increases. But the West Hempstead and New Hyde Park-Garden City Park districts are slated to see less state aid under Cuomo’s proposed figures, which may change during the legislative process this year.
Herricks School District saw a $2.29 million increase to $7,256,111, while the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District lost $134,887. The district was awarded $3,731,177 last year.
Herricks Superintendent John Bierwirth does not think the proposed numbers will stick as is, but is thankful an increase is on the table.
“It looks to us as though, one way or another, there’s going to be an increase for us,” Bierwirth said. “Whether it will be that much or not, we don’t know.”
Herricks is currently presenting more than $3 million in cuts to the board, indicating that although aid increased, it won’t cover the eliminations totally.
“We’ll be able to restore something without cutting something else but it doesn’t solve our problem.” he said. “But it helps.”
The Sewanhaka Central High School District saw a 5.9 percent increase from last years aid runs. It will receive $26,108,615 next year.
Sewanhaka officials are still analyzing aid figures reported to the district. Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie said at times, percentage increases “look a bit different than what they actually are.”
Ferrie was fine with the increase, but as of now, the district is researching 2012-13 to get a better picture of where Sewanhaka could be in 2013-14.
“We’re checking the [numbers] this year for accuracy,” he said acknowledging that because of the new tax cap legislation, the increase in state aid will lessen the impact on the amount of money we have to cut to get to the cap.”
East Williston got a slight uptick with $39,948 in district aid. The district was awarded $2,240,409 in 2012.
Assistant Superintendent for Business Jackie Fitzpatrick doesn’t expect much change to come with aid figures.
“They’ve been relatively consistent with give and take,” she said. “But for the most part, it’s been in the right direction based on a lot of estimates that have been prepared. For the most part, they’ve been fine.”
The Elmont School District received $19,589,186 in aid, an 8.4 percent increase from last year. Elmont struggled to meet the state-imposed 2 percent tax cap for the 2012-13 school year.
It took two budget votes last year for the district to pass a $78,560,346 budget. That budget held a 6.9 percent tax levy increase. Emails to Superintendent Al Harper were not answered.
The West Hempstead School District lost $311,288 in aid. It received $7,736,875 last year.
West Hempstead is working to close a $2.8 million budget gap. Deputy Superintendent Richard Cunningham expected a flat aid run, with drops in transportation aid because the district decreased that part of its budget by $1 million.
What he didn’t see coming was the decrease in high-tax aid, which most school districts in the state saw a 70 percent decrease. West Hempstead lost $364,141.
“That really hurt a lot of us,” he said. “It wiped out an increase in the state aid lines we saw.”
Outside revenue is faltering in the district, with outside residents in Island Park that pay to attend school dropping yearly along with BOCES vacating the Marian Delaney School (MDS) on Eagle Avenue. West Hempstead lost $1.2 in revenue.
“The complications of the tax cap are coming to roost,” Cunningham said. “The PILOTs (payment in lieu of taxes) for the West 130 property are coming on line this year and that decreases your allowable tax levy.”
A potential tenant is interested in MDS, but will not rent the whole building.
The senate and assembly will work to hammer out the governor’s executive budget for an April 1 adoption.
“The governor’s budget is a proposal and, as we negotiate a final budget for New York State, I will be working with my colleagues toward securing more state aid for Long Island school districts,” Senator Jack Martins said. “In this economy, every school district is a high needs district when it comes to funding.”
Last Updated (Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00) Saturday, 21 December 2013 00:00
If you live in New Hyde Park and your house was damaged in Superstorm Sandy, you may still be eligible for government grants from New York Rising. Even if you have received storm damage repair money already (following paperwork and inspections) you might still be able to acquire additional funding, if you total repair work is above any grants or loans already received. The total amount an individual may receive (from any sources (FEMA, insurance and SBA loans) is $300,000.
According to Jon Kaiman, a special advisor to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York Rising storm recovery project, as of mid-October, 4400 applications have already been filed for Long Island, with three-quarters of these applications from Nassau County.
Last Updated (Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00) Friday, 20 December 2013 00:00
Ellen Birnbaum plans to “hit the ground running” next month when she is sworn in as the Nassau County legislator for the 10th legislative district, which represents North New Hyde Park. With a long history of working for the Democratic party, local government and many years working for the Town of North Hempstead, she is now busy getting her office set up and already planning her agenda.
First off, Birnbaum is determined to take a “good look” at the Nassau County Police Department and try to discover if the consolidation of the Sixth Precinct into the Third Precinct has negatively impacted her local constituents. She is concerned about daily reports, believes there is “a lot” of overtime hours, has questions regarding increased salaries and is quite concerned about the lack of police reporting daily incidents to local officials.
Thursday, 19 December 2013 00:00
Sewanhaka High School’s boys varsity basketball team has their eyes set on the playoffs and beyond this season.
Led by third-year head coach Jason Allen, this could be the year the Indians really turn the corner, after struggling last season.
“We can be a very good team this year,” said Allen. “I think we can be a playoff team. The conference is very deep, but I think we will be in the mix with the top four teams and the playoffs.”
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano presented citations to honorees at the recent Milan Senior Program.
The mission of the Milan Senior Program is to offer educational and recreational activities, to promote personal growth and socialization, to foster feelings of achievement, companionship, and well-being
that would enhance the quality of life for people 60 years of age and older. For more information on the Milan Senior Program visit http://www.herricksindous.org/Milan
• Boy Scout Troop 200 Of Williston Park meets every Monday between 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church located at Willis Ave. and Winthrop St., Williston Park. Boys 11 to 17 are welcome to join.
• Irish American Society Social Gatherings every Monday at the Irish American Center, 297 Willis Ave., Mineola, from noon to 3 p.m. In the tradition and mission of the Irish American Society, we are here to make all welcome and be part of the local community. Bring lunch. Coffee and tea will be served. Play cards, board games or just sit and socialize. A film once a month. Ladies and gents welcome. Free to all. Call Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 746-9392 or 742-8080.
• Farmer’s Markets are held every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Come buy local produce, breads, pickles and other goods at the municipal parking lot on Jericho Turnpike just west of New Hyde Park Road, across from Village Hall. Rain or shine until November.
• The Port Washington-New Hyde Park Marine Corp League will now hold its meeting on the second Thursday of each month at 8 p.m. in the New Hyde Park Elks Lodge at 901 Lakeville Road in New Hyde Park. All marines are welcome.
For more information, call Commander Vinny Annunziata at 516-775-0383.
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