Friday, 04 January 2013 00:00
About one-half (49 percent) of school board members favor giving priority placement in state-funded universal pre-kindergarten programs to children living in poverty, according to a new poll by the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA). Forty-three percent oppose the measure, while 8 percent are uncertain.
The poll comes as the state Board of Regents prepares to vote on proposals that would give priority placement in universal pre-K programs to children who qualify for free - and reduced-price lunch, as well as direct more state pre-K funding to average and low wealth school districts. The Regents’ vote is whether to recommend these policy changes. To become law, the state legislature would have to adopt both proposals.
“Board members recognize that children living in lower wealth areas often have fewer options for early childhood programs,” said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer. “At the same time, if the universal pre-K program is truly going to be ‘universal,’ then all three- and four-year old children should have access to it.”
Among other proposals before the Regents, 52 percent of school board members support moving from project-based reimbursement on construction projects to providing school districts with a broader construction allowance each year, but only if the move would free up state aid for flexible operating funds, according to the poll. Twenty-six percent of board members were not sure, while 22 percent were opposed to the idea.
The poll also found that nearly two-thirds of board members oppose a possible Regents proposal to dock state aid from school districts that are recommended by the state to merge, but elect not to.
Sixty-four percent of board members opposed that idea, while only 27 percent favored it. Nine percent were not sure.
“Board members continue to believe strongly that local communities should have the last say on school district mergers and consolidations,” said Kremer.
Results are based on 505 responses to an e-mail-based NYSSBA Pulse Poll of school board members conducted in November and December 2012.
Submitted by the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA)
Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:00
Jessy Davidson, a student at MacArthur High School in Levittown, organized and held a blood drive at the John Theissen Children’s Foundation on Wantagh Ave. this past weekend.
Davidson, a junior, hopes to earn a small college scholarship through the New York Blood Center Bloodstock Scholarship Program by hosting this blood drive. If at least 30 donors come through, she will qualify for the scholarship.
Anyone who is in high school is able to participate in this scholarship, according to Davidson.
Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00
On Feb. 27, parents in the Levittown, East Meadow, Massapequa and Farmingdale school districts came together for an informal panel discussion on the New York State Education Department and the implementation of the state Common Core Learning Standards.
Panelists included New York State Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt, Jeanette Deutermann of the Long Island Opt Out Facebook page, and former public school teacher David Greene, who came to the Farmingdale Public Library to talk with local parents about key concerns and questions with the curriculum.
An outspoken parent and founder of the Long Island Opt Out movement, Deutermann, delved into some of the factors behind what led to the state’s adoption of the Common Core, and how the state education department cites high school graduation rates as its reasoning behind the curriculum.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
The Island Trees track program is pleased to announce that four members of the team will be participating in the New York State tournament. Students honored include:
Alexa Dolgos with a personal best of 1.37 in the 600 meter run; Alyssa Mustafa with a personal best of 17 feet, 3.5 inches in the long jump and a personal best of 36 minutes 1.3 seconds in the triple jump competition; Andrew Zabala with a personal best of 43 feet 5 inches in the triple jump; and Joe Stanco with 47 minutes 10.5 seconds in the shot put.
— Submitted by Varsity Track Coach Joseph Manna
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
The Island Trees Bulldogs Wrestling team finished the 2013-2014 season with an overall record of 18-8. The team defeated Syosset in the Dual Meet Championship playoffs 34-27, and then lost to Plainedge in the second round 48-29. The team had a strong season and was ranked no. 8 in Nassau County. The Bulldogs entered 22 wrestlers in the Nassau County Qualifying Tournament, out of which, eleven of the team’s All-League grapplers qualified for the coveted Nassau County Wrestling Tournament. Six wrestlers also received All-Conference honors, with one wrestler earning a wildcard into the tournament, for a total of 12 Island Trees wrestlers competing.