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Letter: School Aid and the Budget

Recently, Governor Cuomo announced a 3 percent statewide school aid increase in his proposed Executive Budget. Although his school aid budget may have increased, this “increase” did not materialize for most Nassau County school districts. In fact, Island Trees experienced a slight school aid decrease in this “increased” 2014-15 Executive Budget. Unfortunately, since the start of the Great Recession of 2010, Island Trees school aid has decreased a total of $7,628,347, the equivalent of a 19 percent increase on the tax levy.

Although our budget challenges have grown with dwindling state aid, the Island Trees Board of Education has found sensible ways to balance the school budget with very modest increases to the tax levy. In this increasingly grim climate, the Board has made conscientious reductions and has found creative solutions to address the state aid issues with minimal impact to our quality educational programs and services. Incredibly, at this point in the 2014 budgeting process (March), our projected tax levy increase, .66 percent (less than one percent), is the lowest in well over a decade. By and large, the Board has been able to strike a healthy balance between meeting the needs of our students and responding to the financial concerns of the community and will continue to do so. 

 

Island Trees Board of Education 

 

Kenneth Rochon, President 

 

Kristen Daum, Vice President

 

Daniel Donahue 

 

Patricia Mahon

 

Kim McDonough

 

Barbara Medellin

 

George Storm


News

A group of Levittown parents are voicing their concerns with letting their children walk to school, since it would mean they would continue to cross Hempstead Turnpike.

 

“My kid has to cross [Hempstead Tpke.] daily without a crossing guard,” said Division Avenue parent Wendy Lantigua. 

 

For Lantigua and others, the dangers of Hempstead Turnpike became all to real after 13-year-old Brianna Soplin was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver, last June. Not to mention the fact that another 14-year-old Levittown student suffered multiple injuries after being struck in hit-and-run, last February. 

On Sept. 14, Hempstead town officials joined family and friends of fallen New York City paramedic Rudy Havelka, to unveil the re-dedication of Birch Lane in Levittown. 

While surviving the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Havelka wou ld later die of an illness related to his service at Ground Zero.


Sports

The annual One Love Long Island (OLLI) Yoga Festival takes place at the Sands Point Preserve on Sunday, Sept. 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. All profits will be donated to organizations that support survivors of human trafficking, locally and globally. 

 

The festival will unite 16 Long Island yoga studio communities in a round robin of the traditional yogic practice of 108 Sun Salutations from 9:30 a.m. to noon, whose offerings will look to create long-term and sustainable solutions to eradicate the human trafficking epidemic by raising funds and awareness for the cause.  

As a fitness coach and a mother, Melissa Monteforte of Locust Valley knows how important it is to stay healthy, and how difficult it can be for women to make themselves, and their health, a priority. Wanting to help women take charge and feel more in control, she organized the Fit & Healthy Mamas Annual 5K run, now in its third year, which took place on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.

 

“I felt like running was the best outlet when I became a mother; it’s such a great way to get fit and feel healthy and I wanted to share that with other moms,” says Monteforte, 31. “I wanted women to feel celebrated, no matter their fitness level, and to put their health first.”


Calendar

IT Board of Ed - September 17

All Star Comedy - September 18

Irreversible Paul Lynde - September 19


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