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Surprise! NYS Comes Through For Herricks

At the April 3 meeting of the Herricks Board of Education, it was revealed that New York State’s recently passed budget has allotted a larger-than-anticipated amount of aid for schools; this has resulted in an additional $360,000 for the district to use for its 2014-2015 budget.

 

According to Board of Education President James Gounaris, the 2014-2015 Herricks budget was already adopted, on March 20; after the surprise boost in state aid, the budget was adjusted and re-adopted at the April 3 meeting, with the additional funds allocated toward restoring some budgetary cuts made to the district in recent years.

 

“We’re going to use the additional money that we have to hire more staff,” he said. “The biggest concern to those of us on the school board has been trying to find a way to reduce our class sizes. We’re down over 100 positions in the past three years.” 

 

The Herricks 2014-2015 budget, adjusted for the additional $360,000 in funding from New York State, now comes in at $107,594,911; the Board of Trustees unanimously voted at the meeting to re-adopt the budget to reflect this new amount. However, these new numbers will not affect taxes in the Herricks district, according to Assistant Superintendent for Business Helen Costigan.

 

“We’re putting the additional funds into our revenue file, so this will not affect the tax levy at all,” she said. “This extra money will bring our budget up to a 2.84 percent increase, but out levy remains at 1.84 percent. That doesn’t change.”

 

Trustee Brian Hassan gave a final update on the infamous InBloom, which had drawn the intense ire of parents and schools across the state when it emerged that the company would be sharing sensitive data about New York students with various third-party companies. After vigorous lobbying from educators and parents, the state put an end to the unpopular practice. 

 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Bierwirth describing the program as “so poorly handled,” noted it was initially slated to be nationwide.

 

“New York was the only one left in InBloom, which was originally supposed to go across all 50 states,” he said. “However, you can’t have a national database with no states being a part of it, so it appears to be really dead, which is great.” The plan is effectively dead in the water after New York’s withdrawal, he said. 

 

“InBloom is no longer an issue for us as far as data-sharing with third-party vendors,” Hassan said. “This was the result of a lot of hard work by people, not just in Herricks, but across the state, and it’s nice to see that our voices have finally been heard.”

News

The Village of New Hyde Park finished its Operation Main Street project just in time, because the town’s eligibility for federal funds is shrinking, officials announced last week.

“The qualifications revolve around money,” trustee Donald Barbieri said. “Like how much income is being earned by people in the area. I guess as seniors move on, you can’t buy an [expensive home] and it changed the demographic, shrinking our eligible area.”

The Village of New Hyde Park will soon hear Manhattan businessman Sam Chan’s proposal to open a 84-seat hibachi-style restaurant at 1215 Jericho Tpke. in New Hyde Park, the former spot of the maligned Empire Billiards Hall. The hearing is set for Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m.

“The board will be hearing the case for restaurant usage,” Mayor Robert Lofaro said. “This will also have to go before the zoning board. They will likely hear the case.”


Sports

New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler and catcher Travis d’Arnaud brightened the day for some patients at Cohen Children’s Medical Center last week in New Hyde Park, posing for pictures and handing out gifts and autographs. The players hung out with the kids in the afternoon, playing video games and answering questions.

They also found the time to make the rounds, stopping by bedsides to spread some cheer. Mr. Met also joined the tour and was a big hit with the children, who peppered him with questions about everything from his four-fingered hand to the whereabouts of the missing Mrs. Met.

The Sewanhaka Indians football team has a season of change in store.

The Indians have moved up from Conference III to Conference II, due to an increase in enrollment, and are set to face teams that they have never seen before, according to head coach George Kasimatis.

“It is hard to gauge where we will be in this conference,” he said. “There is a lot of uncertainty as where we fit in.”


Calendar

Library Board Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 28

Welcome Reception

Wednesday, Sept. 3

Herricks School Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 4



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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