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Mineola To Receive Efficiency Grant

School district awarded for financial, managerial responsibility

The Mineola School District has been selected to receive a $213,129 grant for the 2012-13 school year from the New York State Education Department, District Superintendent Michael Nagler revealed. Mineola is receiving the School District Management Efficiency Competitive Grant as a result of its application detailing the ways in which it has streamlined its costs.

Nagler mentioned that this is because the district closed two school buildings and reorganized resources while still providing educational programs for its students. He said the grant would be used on technology tools for students.

The grant cannot be used on a capital project or paid toward district salaries. The district applied for the grant in July.

Mineola closed two schools dating back to 2011. First, Cross Street School was closed, followed by Willis Avenue School this past September. Both schools have been leased to the Solomon Schechter Day School and Harbor Child Care, respectively.

Sixteen school districts in New York State attained the grant. Approximately 38 districts applied for the grant.

“Basically it asks districts to apply for monies on showing any kind of management efficiencies they may have,” said Nagler about the grant. “We applied on the basis that we consolidated our school district prior to a tax levy cap. We consolidated staff. We continued our educational programs and we saved money in the process. The state agreed with us.”

In the application, Dr. Nagler had to detail the actualized cost-savings of its reorganization plan during the 2011-12 school year, which totaled nearly $2.4 million. He also detailed how the savings, combined with the income from leasing Cross Street, has enabled Mineola to become pioneers with its utilization of technology in the classroom.

“The Board of Education and I are happy to bring this additional revenue to our district,” Nagler said.

By detailing its efficiency and savings each year, Mineola is eligible for the grant for the next two school years. The school district will have to maintain certain savings over that time span.

“The way a grant works is when you apply for the grant, you fill out something called an FS-10 and get it approved,” said Nagler. “In our FS-10, in how we’ll spend this money, it will be on technology like iPads, E-Spark and professional development. I’m toying with the notion to change that request to perhaps start a summer enrichment program. But there are some hurdles we have to jump through. I’m still debating that one.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo, not the state education department, controls the release of the grant, according to Nagler.

“Less than half received the award,” he said. “I have no idea what the other [amounts] of the other schools are. I am anticipating the governor to make a big announcement about these grants.”

News

Senator Jack Martins discussed education, business and drug use among other topics in a an exclusive interview with this newspaper and FiOS 1 News. He’s currently seeking re-election in November, being challenged by Democrat Adam Haber. Pointing to what he called “key legislation,” particularly the tax cap legislation passed in 2011 and prescription drug bill he helped shepherd to enactment, Martins feels New York State is on track to continue fiscal responsibility.

 

“In these last four years, we’ve had four balanced budgets, we’ve cut taxes working together, we have paid off debt, streamlined government, kept spending below 2 percent each one of those years,” Martins said.

A contingent of 80 Mineola runners embarked on their first trek to lower Manhattan last year for the Tunnel To Towers 5K Run through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel toward the World Trade Center site. This year, the United Mavericks, a networking group of local business people that support local charities and causes, are gearing up surpass that number.

Mavericks reps say they’re half way to gathering 1,000 people to run in the event’s 13th year on Saturday, Sept. 28.

 

The run honors a fireman Stephen Siller, who was enjoying a day off planning to play golf before he learned the Twin Towers were hit by two airplanes during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He was one of the 343 firefighters who died when the towers collapsed.


Sports

Though it had already hosted the series of lacrosse games during the regular season this past spring, Chaminade High School’s new Gold Star Stadium was officially christened on Saturday, Sept. 6, named in honor of the 56 alumni who had perished during combat.

 

“Tradition holds that when one dies in the service a gold star is given to the family,” said Chaminade President Bro. Thomas Cleary. “Our 56 Gold Star Alumni are honored for their selflessness, courage, and integrity.”

Although the expectations for the 2014 Mineola Mustangs boy’s varsity soccer season may be somewhat measured, the team enters the season with the goal of a berth in the Nassau County playoffs. The team is young and inexperienced but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

There is considerable talent on the horizon. There are only four starting seniors and five sophomores on the roster. Four year starting senior forward Daniel Pardo returns (19 goals in three seasons) as does senior standout goalkeeper Andrew Pereira.


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - September 17

International Night - September 18

Bereavement Support Group - September 19


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