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Significant Unpaid Student Lunch Bills Raises Flag

District Continues to Find New Ways to Save

Dr. George Chesterton, a consultant to the Levittown Business Office, announced at the most recent Levittown Board of Education Planning Session on Wednesday, May 25 that the district is owed $12,821 for school lunches that have never been paid for. According to Chesterton, $2,722.09 of that total is from Division Avenue High School, where 482 students have fallen behind on their lunch payments.

Based on the numbers, Chesterton noted that one single student could be responsible for a significantly higher sum than the average amount owed per student, which is $9 at Salk and $5 at Division.

“In those cases, my recommendation is that those families should be contacted and have the matter pursued further,” said Chesterton.

BOE Vice President Peter Porrazzo responded by calling for stricter penalties against students who are delinquent on their payments. “I would like for the board to consider that barring any extraordinary circumstances, the student will not be permitted to participate in any co-curricular activities,” said Porrazzo. “These activities would include, but not limited to-athletics, intramurals, club dances and graduation ceremonies.”

In additional business, several cost-saving measures for next year’s LAP program were announced. Plans include increasing the ratio of students to counselors from 10:1 to 12:1, eliminating the assistant coordinator stipend and sharing clericals between two schools.

Assistant Superintendent Debbie Rifkin announced that additional savings would be made due to the staggered school day. Time that will be spent by teachers at the program will be reduced by 20 minutes because the elementary school day will be ending 20 minutes later.

In a special meeting that preceded the planning session, the activation of the revised CSEA Retirement Incentive Program was not voted on and then pulled from the agenda.

Later in the evening, it was announced that the district clerk recommends a reduction in polling places as an additional cost-saving measure. “Along with that, I think we are one of the only districts that opens at 12 for voting,” said Porazzo. “I’d like to see us open at 7 or 8 o’clock like other districts. People want to vote while on their way to work.”

The meeting opened with a hands-on mathematics presentation from MacArthur High School students that displayed the benefits of using the TI Navigator in a classroom setting. It is a system that creates a powerful connection between students and educators by networking each student’s graphing calculator to the classroom computer. The TI Navigator uses instant feedback to create a dynamic learning environment proven by research to increase student success.

The Board of Education also recognized and honored the PTA Budget Committee, Food Service Committee and the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee. There was no public comment period or any discussion of the recent teacher layoff notices. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, June 8 at the Memorial Education Center.