(Submitted by the North Shore Board of Education)
At the Feb. 3 North Shore Schools Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Dr. Edward Melnick discussed the current economic situation. He communicated that pension contributions, health insurance costs, and contractual obligations continue to rise each year while state and federal aid decreases as the government continues to push costs onto local public school districts.
Additionally, Governor Cuomo has proposed a 2 percent property tax increase cap from one levy to the next (not budget to budget) without currently capping costs for required mandated expenses (those that the state forces schools to pay). This proposal has been passed in the Senate and will likely go into effect in 2012-13. With instructional salary and benefits accounting for 70 percent of the average school budget, some analysts project that this will immediately create a major deficit in all New York school districts resulting in increases in class sizes, staff layoffs, and the reductions in electives and extracurricular activities.
At the meeting, trustees discussed the best ways to fiscally and responsibly move forward this budget year in light of these uncertain times. Dr. Webb said, “We have to be very careful with what we cut this year from our budget since we will probably never be able to get it back in the future.” The Board reviewed the portions of the budget pertaining to the board of education, Central Administration, Central Services, Plant Maintenance, Insurance/BOCES Administration, and Supervision of Instruction.
Trustees agreed to place many items on a “comeback” list rather than eliminating them from the budget. These items included costs related to election workers, personnel ads, health, safety contracts (DW) and fuel oil. A total of $1,000 was eliminated from the initial budget proposal presented by Superintendent Dr. Edward Melnick on Jan. 20. Please visit http://www.northshoreschools.org to watch this initial budget presentation video. The “comeback items” will be discussed at the March 10 meeting when it will be decided whether or not to remove or reduce these amounts.
BOE President Igor Webb added, “The board is doing everything they can and the realities are very serious.” The board continues to lead other Long Island School Districts to unify efforts to help control school spending. Since a tax cap will likely pass, trustees are also advocating for mandate relief that will allow taxpayers to save significantly without destroying the core of public education.
To conclude the meeting, trustees discussed initial measures for a “Community Action Committee” where residents can join together to lobby against current laws and escalating NYS mandates facing our schools. The Board welcomes any other suggestions to influence legislation to avert these damaging results to Long Island schools.” BOE Vice President Carolyn Mazzu Genovesi reiterated, “It is important that the Board hears from everyone in the community. We encourage you to get involved.”
During the month of March, the board will continue to remain sensitive to the fiscal concerns of our residents as they seek to make further reductions prior to adopting the 2011-20 budget on Thursday, March 24. Trustees strongly urge you to come to the upcoming meetings and voice your feelings and concerns so that they can make an informed decision based on the input of our community members. Upcoming BOE/Budget meetings will take place in the High School Alumni Room at 8 p.m. (unless noted otherwise) on the following dates: March 10 (Comeback Items/Budget Refinement), March 24 (Budget Adoption, HS Library), April 27 (BOCES Budget Vote/ Meet the Candidates Night), and May 5 (Town Meeting/Budget Reading).
The call came around 5 a.m. Tuesday morning, and Glen Cove firefighters, police and EMS jumped into action. A house on Ford Street was up in flames and a woman was trapped inside.
Chief Anthony Tripp reported the details to the Record Pilot. He said that a fire that began in the kitchen moved on to the bedroom nearby, where the woman was sleeping. The rest of the residents got out, but the smoke and heat had her stuck.
The first discussion regarding next year’s Glen Cove School District budget took place at Robert M. Finley Middle School in Glen Cove Monday night as the board of education heard presentations from the administration on a plan that could save the district big money: returning to an eight period school day at the high school and middle school. Vice President Gail Nedbor-Gross and Trustee David Huggins were absent from the meeting.
On Jan. 20, the North Shore Board of Education held a Town Meeting where Superintendent Dr. Edward Melnick presented the Initial 2011-12 Budget Proposal. In his overview, Dr. Melnick began his presentation by stating, “$2 million was eliminated in this proposal after initial internal budget meetings with the administration, principals and department heads.” He reiterated, “This budget proposal maintains the quality and scope of North Shore’s array of programs (including academics, class size, and athletics/extracurricular activities) and adds no new programs.”
Emotions ran high in the main chambers of Glen Cove City Hall last Tuesday, where several parties voiced their opinions on the recent passage of a resolution regarding health care coverage for city employees, including the city council and city attorney. After calling for a freeze in health benefits for city council members in a press release and urging the citizens of Glen Cove to voice their opinions at the public meeting, Republican Committee Chairman Paul Meli addressed the issue to the council during the public discussion period.
On the evening of Jan. 10, the Village of Sea Cliff Board of Trustees assembled for its monthly meeting. Mayor Bruce Kennedy started by asking for a moment of silence for the victims of the recent shootings in Arizona. He then thanked the Department of Public Works for its superior job in helping keep the village’s streets safe during recent snow storms.
Mayor Kennedy also provided an update on village projects. Construction on the roof of the village hall will start once the weather lightens up and should take about three months to finish.
Landing Elementary School played host to the Glen Cove Board of Education Meeting on Monday night, where academic achievements were honored, community mentors were recognized and the board of education was given a special nod of appreciation for all the hard work its members do. Trustees Joel Sunshine and Richard Maccarone were absent from the meeting.
The Glen Cove School District recognized AP scholars at the meeting, as each of the 29 students were called forth by Glen Cove High School Vice Principal Sheryl Goodine to accept a certificate of achievement. Since many students had already returned to their college campuses, several parents stepped in to accept the awards.
The City of Glen Cove held the 27th Annual Commemorative Program in honor of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, beginning with a march down Forest Avenue and ending at Finley Middle School’s Wunsch Auditorium. Local government officials, school board members, pastors and residents joined together to celebrate the life and achievements of Dr. King.
In their second meeting of the season in front of a standing room only crowd at the Glen Cove High School Gymnasium, Glen Cove defeated North Shore High School 62-50 on Friday, Jan. 14. Glen Cove is now 3-2 in league play and 5-4 overall. North Shore is 0-5 in league and 0-10 overall.
Students, alumni, and parents from both schools, Gold Coast area rivals, filed into the gymnasium to bear witness to this Friday night match-up. Players from the North Shore athletic teams showed up to show their support for their school, donning their school colors and uniforms, as did several teachers as well.
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