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.
Discussion over testing and class size opened a debate on spending at a New Hyde Park-Garden City Park Board of Education work session on Monday, March 31.
The board voted unanimously to reduce the maximum class size for grades 3-6 to 27 from 29 students and to create an additional fifth-grade class next year. These changes will be up for review next year.
Reducing class size becomes a gamble if an unexpected amount of new students transfer to the district mid-year, according to district officials. If a class goes over the maximum, the district will have to hire additional aides.
The Sewanhaka Central High School District School Board adopted the 2014-15 proposed budget last week. The proposed budget total for the 2014-15 school year is $175.3 million, a budget increase of $3.52 million from last year. The tax levy increase is set at 2.1 percent. The budget vote will take place on May 20.
The current projection for state aid in 2014-15 is $29.2 million in the state legislative budget, a slight increase from last year ($27.8 million).
“There was a budget-to-budget state aid increase of 5.2 percent,” District Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie said.
New Hyde Park Memorial High School performed Bye Bye Birdie on March 13, 14 and 15.
The largest cast in school history brought the stage to life and thrilled audiences with song, dance and well-timed comic relief.
Calling it one the most closely watched state senate races in New York, East Hills’ Adam Haber officially announced his candidacy for the Seventh District last Thursday at an enthusiastic gathering at the VFW Hall in Albertson.
Before outlining his agenda, Haber briefly thanked his father, a former losing candidate for a school board seat as “[laying] the groundwork” for his desire to enter politics. Haber then listed four main planks to his candidacy.
The first was taxes, as he said that Nassau County remains one of the highest taxed counties in New York, “if not the country.”
The Sewanhaka Central High School District will have another bond referendum vote on May 20, the same day as the school budget, to save on voting costs.
The school board selected a $86.61 million bond proposal last week. If upheld by voters next month, the plan will contribute significant upgrades and renovations to the district’s five schools and two vocational buildings. The plan is a slightly smaller version of
the proposal residents voted down last December.
The Herricks School District announced that they had come to a new three-year agreement on Thursday, March 20.
Budgetary woes have the unfortunate effect of putting student programs and thus, the quality of their education, in jeopardy; something that Herricks Board President James Gounaris touched on last week.
The Village of New Hyde Park held a public hearing last week for Mercy Akinyooye, who wants to open a nursing aide school at 613 Jericho Tpke. The village board deferred decision on the application.
Akinyooye, who was born in Nigeria and currently resides in Valley Stream, is seeking to establish the Mericel Academy. She is a registered nurse and has been practicing for 30 years, five of which she spent in England.
The academy will teach a maximum of 10 students per class. Should the application be approved, Akinyooye said she will begin with five students and at least three teachers, two of which are certified through the New York State Education Department.
“I will have a small size class so I have enough time to focus on the students, and given them proper attention,” Akinyooye said.
New Hyde Park residents have been experiencing mail delays, resulting in frustration and unanswered questions from the local post office. While post office officials say delivery has improved, residents say there’s still much left to be desired in mail flow from the 2nd Avenue location.
New Hyde Park resident Chris Cataldo just wanted his son’s graduation photos. He ordered them and waited for the pictures to come in the mail, but they didn’t arrive at his home. Luckily, a good neighbor brought them by.
“The mail is very inconsistent,” he said. “Thank God this little girl, probably about 10 years old, brought the photos to my house. Can you imagine losing something like that? It would’ve been a disaster.”
Cataldo admitted mail delivery has picked up in the last week. He hopes it bodes well for the rest of the area.
New Hyde Park resident Christine Grincato is tired of the ongoing issues with the Sewanhaka Central High School District’s bond. She knows the district needs it, but at what cost? The district proposed a $99.5 million bond for various repairs to its five high schools in December, which failed by 293 votes.
“Perhaps, if you had listened to us, you’d be encouraged to provide a proposal that we can live with,” she said at a special meeting on March 18. “We need a bond, but we need one we can afford.”
The district is currently designing a new bond, with five options being discussed among the board of education. The board expects to choose one this week and decide to either hold the referendum in May during school board and budget elections or a special vote in the fall.
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