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From the Desk of Superintendent Michael Nagler - October 22, 2010

Reconfiguration and Property Values

What factors contribute to the value of your home?  A lot has been said about property values declining because we are closing schools.  How can you quantify that? Outside of the number of bedrooms and quality of the home construction, let’s examine some of the main factors in attracting prospective buyers:

• Low real estate taxes

• Quality of the school district

• Breadth and depth of programs

• Innovative and progressive planning for the future

• Neighborhoods, ease of commute.

I do not discredit the proximity of your home to a particular school, but in general, prospective buyers are buying a school district.  The quality of the entire district is the ultimate selling point.

So let’s look at Mineola:

• The school district has one of the lowest tax rates in Nassau County.  Much of that can be attributed to our large commercial tax base.  The reconfiguration plan seeks to stabilize the tax levy at or near 2.5 percent for a five-year period.

• We are closing schools to preserve programs.  It is our full intention to continue to offer the programs we currently do AND enhance student learning with innovative programs.  A good example of that is our iPad initiative.  We are the first school district to implement a widespread distribution of interactive technology.  Other districts have already inquired how they can replicate it.  It is these types of programs that will attract parents to Mineola.  The same holds true for our implementation of NWEA, which will directly help individual student achievement.

• Neighborhoods will remain essentially unchanged.  If we rent a facility it will be to a school.  We will retain the use of the fields and playgrounds for residents.  The vacant schools will be used when your children are in school, and they will be available to your children when they come home from school.

The current bond proposal delivers the most streamlined cost effective school district possible.  It seeks to stabilize tax levies in the worst economy in decades. More importantly it preserves our current educational program and allows us to initiate new innovative programs for children. Please remember that all of our neighboring school districts will struggle with the same financial issues that we have and they will have fewer options to deal with it.  I believe all of these factors will make Mineola a very attractive community for prospective buyers.