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Targeting Pre-K Funds To Lower Wealth Areas 

Measures are included in Regents’ state aid proposal

About one-half (49 percent) of school board members favor giving priority placement in state-funded universal pre-kindergarten programs to children living in poverty, according to a new poll by the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA).  Forty-three percent oppose the measure, while 8 percent are uncertain.

The poll comes as the state Board of Regents prepares to vote on proposals that would give priority placement in universal pre-K programs to children who qualify for free - and reduced-price lunch, as well as direct more state pre-K funding to average and low wealth school districts.  The Regents’ vote is whether to recommend these policy changes.  To become law, the state legislature would have to adopt both proposals.

“Board members recognize that children living in lower wealth areas often have fewer options for early childhood programs,” said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer. “At the same time, if the universal pre-K program is truly going to be ‘universal,’ then all three- and four-year old children should have access to it.”


Among other proposals before the Regents, 52 percent of school board members support moving from project-based reimbursement on construction projects to providing school districts with a broader construction allowance each year, but only if the move would free up state aid for flexible operating funds, according to the poll.  Twenty-six percent of board members were not sure, while 22 percent were opposed to the idea.

The poll also found that nearly two-thirds of board members oppose a possible Regents proposal to dock state aid from school districts that are recommended by the state to merge, but elect not to. 

Sixty-four percent of board members opposed that idea, while only 27 percent favored it. Nine percent were not sure.

“Board members continue to believe strongly that local communities should have the last say on school district mergers and consolidations,” said Kremer.

Results are based on 505 responses to an e-mail-based NYSSBA Pulse Poll of school board members conducted in November and December 2012.

Submitted by the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA)  


News

The smell of pine, wood and scented candles greet customers with a sense of home as they cross the wooden threshold to the Amish Craft Barn in Seaford. There they will find dolls, birdhouses, quilts, ceramic turkeys, hand-painted Christmas trees, oak furniture and other seasonal and holiday tchotchkes.

 

Massapequa natives Frank and Pam Hoerauf started The Amish Craft Barn & Gift Shoppe 20 years ago after an inspiring visit to Pennsylvania.

Holidays increase daily congestion 

While parking around LIRR train stations is typically a challenge, even on a regular work day, the holidays create more of a struggle for commuters in search of parking spots. LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said that ridership between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day increases by at least 10 percent; last year it was by 12 percent. Though the MTA is adding more trains to the schedule, that doesn’t ease the parking situation, which is operated not by the LIRR, but by individual municipalities in each town. 

 

“Every station is different,” Arena said. “A good part of our parking is in the hands of the locality. They set the rules essentially.”


Sports

The Island Trees Cross Country teams continue their improvement in 2014. This year the girls’ team has a record of 8-2 and with their victories over Clarke and Wheatley High Schools, they clinched the Division Championship for the first time in Island Trees High School history.

 

The girls are led by senior Captain Angela Brocco who has been rewriting the girl’s record boards. Brocco set the school record for the Warwick Valley 5000 meter course on Sept. 20. 

This season the Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team at Division Avenue has the rare ability to fill every position on the field with a member of the senior class. All 11 seniors have made contributions to the success of this year’s squad.


Calendar

Turkey Cookie - November 21

Lost Nights - November 22

Town of Hempstead Meeting - November 25


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