The Levittown Public School District Board of Education is mulling a proposed $199.6 million spending plan for the 2014-2015 school year, which would increase spending by 2.09 percent. This amounts to a budget-to-budget increase of roughly $4.1 million from last year, when local voters approved a $195.6 million budget.
Halfway through its fiscal planning for the 2014-2015 budget, the board reconvened on March 5, to discuss forecasted increases in transportation, athletics, and computer technology costs.
At the meeting, Transportation Supervisor Dajuana Reeves presented a $5.5 million spending proposal, which would increase the department’s spending by $369,650 from last year. Additionally, $442,000 would be allocated to purchase four new school buses.
On March 7, members of the Division Avenue High School PTSA held their fourteenth annual Sweeps and Chinese Auction fundraiser. According to First Vice President of Division Avenue High School PTSA Laura Brown, there were about 150 Chinese auction baskets and 30 bingo prizes that were given out during this year’s event.
The PTSA has been organizing this event for the past 14 years, but it only started to get bigger in the last three years. It is now the largest event that the PTSA has to organize every year. “It wouldn’t be possible without the cooperation of the custodial staff, and all the PTSA members,” said Brown. “We reserve tables now because there’s probably 400 people in there.”
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.
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.
Members of the Island Trees School District Board of Education are currently mulling a proposed $59.6 million spending plan for the 2014-2015 school year, which would increase the district’s spending by .82 percent from last year. According to Island Trees
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Charles Murphy, the tax levy for the 2014-2015 year is also estimated to increase by .82 percent, which he boasted falls well below the 2 percent tax levy threshold mandated by the state.
At the first of an ongoing series of budget workshops, on Feb. 26, board members highlighted sections of the proposed 2014-2015 budget, including the Island Trees Public Library, Arts and Music programming, Curriculum and Instruction and Supplies, to try and find any savings.
Almost 100 years later, the Levittown Community Council learned what life was like for the soldiers during World War I. Last week, the group welcomed Martha Kinney, an instructor from Suffolk Community College and a specialist on the topic who has more than 25 years of service in the military, five of those in active duty in Kuwait.
“The lives of the soldiers were much more detailed then just fighting in the trenches,” Kinney said.
Both Victoria DeMatteo and Robert Wertheimer beam with pride when they talk about their son Trevor’s acceptance into Regis School in New York City. And they should. According to Wertheimer the prestigious Jesuit college preparatory school has only about a 14 percent acceptance rate. “It’s extremely competitive,” he said. But he added, so is Trevor.
Trevor, now 14 and an eighth grader at Wisdom Lane Middle School in Levittown, said he is up for the challenge. A successful two-time Science Olympian, Trevor’s seventh grade team beat his school’s eighth grade team, and his current eighth grade team is now also headed to the demanding state competition in Rochester, said he’s ready to test some new skills. Regis, Trevor said, has a very strong debate team. “I’m considering taking that up.”
Faced with a scarcity of on-street parking for frustrated neighbors of the Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, members of the Hempstead Town Council teamed with the community to formulate a remedy. As a result, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate
Murray, Councilmen Gary Hudes and Ed Ambrosino announced they had created the “antidote” to traffic and parking woes on residential blocks.
On Feb. 18, town officials approved legislation for a new residential parking program that aims to alleviate parking problems for outspoken neighbors who contend the hospital patrons and employees are responsible for the influx of cars.
Residents in the Island Trees school district may need to pony up more in taxes as a result of a proposed exemption for veterans. Across New York State, school districts are being asked to provide this special exemption, which provides three tiers of tax breaks for vets based on whether or not they saw combat or suffered a disability.
While a similar exemption already exists at the county level, the state left individual school districts to decide if it would be in the best interest of the taxpaying community.
In light of the overwhelming response from the community, surrounding a controversial proposal to develop 11.3 acres of Island Trees school property—currently occupied by the Karopczyc and Gallow schools—to make room for 160 to 247 housing units for seniors over 55, school district officials are now saying they plan to slow down their process.
“As a result [of the community forum on Feb. 10] the district will solicit volunteers to study the Farmedge property in more detail,” said Island Trees School Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy.
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