Written by Ronald Scaglia, Rscaglia@antonnews.com Friday, 12 April 2013 00:00
When the New York State budget was adopted, a category of aid called High Tax Aid was restored, which restored significant aid to many Long Island school districts, including Massapequa, The good news for some students is that some programs which had previously been cut to close a budget shortfall have been restored. Deputy Superintendent Alan Adcock also said that because of the added revenue, the district would not have to dip as much into the reserve fund, and he is recommending to the school board that the district use less fund balance from savings accounts to close the budget deficit, although the district is still projecting to use about $800,000 in fund balance to balance the 2013-14 budget. The bad news for Massapequa teachers is that the plan to excess 35 teachers remains in effect.
“I’m probably one of the most humanistic people you will ever find,” said Superintendent Charles Sulc at a recent school board meeting. “Excessing teachers is very painful to do.”
Sulc, as he had done at previous school board meetings, said that the decision to excess 35 teachers, 17 of which are elementary teachers, is based on declining enrollment in Massapequa and not because of a budget shortfall. He also explained that New York State education law mandates which teachers are laid off based on seniority and tenure areas.
Because of the restored state funding, the district will be restoring a seventh and eighth grade “hybrid” baseball team, a ninth grade baseball team, funding which had been cut from the hockey team and other elementary programs. Members of the audience asked why athletics programs were being restored instead of teachers or academic programs such as summer school.
“When did we become more focused on sports than academics,” said one resident, which drew applause from the crowd.