Written by Cory Twibell Friday, 01 February 2013 00:00
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed school aid package could result in increases in state aid for the Westbury and Carle Place school districts, but possibly less for Hicksville and East Meadow, Westbury Schools could see an increase of 7.75 percent, or $2.3 million. The district received $30.3 million in state aid this year.
But the governor’s state aid package has a long way to go. It must be approved by the state legislature, which will be considering the school aid package in the coming months.
Carle Place Schools will receive $52,833 in additional aid next year if Cuomo’s plan goes through.
“It’s pretty much what we were expecting, but I’m not going to complain about the thinking that high-needs school districts should get a little bit more,” said Carle Place Superintendent David Flatley, who noted that before the recession, the district received approximately $800,000 more per year.
Flatley said he called local elected officials in support of the proposal, which includes a new suggestion to help stabilize teacher’s pension contribution rates.
“The pension contribution rate for this year – without the governor’s proposal – is going to be well in excess of a million dollars. That’s just the increase this year and that swallows up a greater than 2 percent increase in our budget all by itself, so that’s a gigantic hit for [the district] and the people in the community.
“What he [Governor Cuomo] is recommending is that we pick a contribution rate of 12 percent of our payroll and pay that as a fixed cost for the next 25 years,” Flatley said, noting that pension contributions currently vary year-to-year.
The Carle Place superintendent explained that the expected pension contribution increase for the school’s upcoming budget, not considering Cuomo’s potential proposal, will be “about four and a half percentage points – that’s the big gorilla in the budget.”
Flatley added, “The advantage that creates for school districts is that retirement costs become a fixed number in your budget. When you’re under a tax cap situation, having fixed costs at or near zero percent increases every year is a very smart way to do budgeting. “
Many nearby school districts may receive less money in the upcoming year, including Hicksville and East Meadow, which might receive a 1.79 and .69 percent decrease in state aid next year, respectively.
“I’m very concerned by how the governor is removing some high tax aid from our schools. The school districts in Nassau County were particularly negatively affected by the governor’s proposal, particularly Farmingdale, East Meadow and Massapequa. The high tax is greatly concerning us right now,” Assemblyman Tom McKevitt said.
Senator Jack Martins avoided classifying schools based on financial assistance.
“The governor’s budget is a proposal and, as we negotiate a final budget for New York State, I will be working with my colleagues toward securing more state aid for Long Island school districts,” Senator Jack Martins said. “In this economy, every school district is a high-needs district when it comes to funding.”
The governor’s budget must be ratified by April 1.
Saturday, 18 May 2013 00:00
For most of the ’80s, ZZ Top was an inescapable presence thanks to a plethora of videos, often times containing underdog storylines revolving around gorgeous gals, a 1933 Ford hotrod and the hirsute threesome serving as a Greek chorus of cool to the aggrieved protagonist. But amidst all the bells and whistles, the most impressive feat pulled off by this Texas power trio was using 1983’s Eliminator to adapt its bluesy hard rock boogie sound and modernize it with synthesizers and drum machines sans any kind of artistic compromising.
Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00
John Romandetti saved six people, but he shies away from the title hero.
“I don’t think of myself as a hero,” Romandetti says. “It’s nothing anyone else wouldn’t have done.”
During Hurricane Sandy, Romandetti risked his own life to go out to Howard Beach and get his girlfriend’s family out of their flooding homes. The Bethpage Air Show recently recognized his bravery, naming him the grand prize winner of the Hurricane Sandy Community Heroes contest. Romandetti, along with nine other winners, will receive VIP tickets to the Bethpage Air Show, plus the reception, and GEICO Skytypers Planeside Meet and Greet. As the grand prize winner, Romandetti also gets the chance to fly with the GEICO Skytypers during next week’s airshow.
Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00
Westbury Okinawan Karate recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary of coming to the Westbury Recreation Center. Since then, the dojo has trained 250 students, ages six and up, in the art of karate with the style of traditional Okinawan ShorinRyu Shidokan.
Founded by sensei John Power, the classes seek to instill the confidence and strength needed to obtain success in everyday life.
“A lot of kids are lacking confidence,” said Power. “We let them practice leadership in the class and this contributes to their confidence.
Friday, 10 May 2013 00:00
Members of the Carle Place Sparc/Interact club recently donated their time and talents at the Alley Pond Environmental Center in Queens. Working together with students from Mineola High School and Holy Cross High School in Queens, the SPARC members planted over 1,000 indigenous trees to help replenish one section of the 600-acre forest park. The group’s efforts were part of the NYC Plant a Million Trees Project in honor of Arbor Day, celebrated on Friday April 26th. The Carle Place planters were: Sarah Megiel, Kelsey Feit, Julia Powell, Sabrina Feit, Monique Slater, Matt Carr, Katie Megiel, Rob Ibos, and Lauren Powell. They are led by faculty advisor Kieran Morris.