Huntington School District voters will go to the polls on Tuesday, May 15 and cast ballots on the proposed school budget and capital reserve fund proposition and to elect three members to the board of education. Voting will be held at Huntington High School from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The proposed budget, which trustees unanimously and sent to voters for an up-and-down vote, totals $111,858,780 or an increase of 2.59 percent over the 2011/12 spending plan.
“The budget development process has been arduous, but it has been and it will remain important for us to analyze expenditures and revenues on a line-by-line, item-by-item basis so that we may continue to both address our students’ educational needs and exercise our fiscal responsibility to district taxpayers,” Superintendent James W. Polansky said. “I believe we have accomplished this in constructing the 2012/13 budget. These goals will remain intact as we prepare for the future.”
The proposed budget provides for the continuation of a full line-up of Regents, honors and Advanced Placement courses, comprehensive art, music and physical education programs, including marching band, orchestra, chorus, band, music ensembles and specialized art courses and interscholastic athletics for grades 7-12.
The SEARCH and Math Olympiad programs will continue for academically talented fifth and sixth graders. A strong program of special education classes and services will continue, as will academic intervention services for students needing assistance to meet state standards.
Monies are contained in the budget to purchase 430 desktop computers and 150 printers for use in all four primary buildings and the Woodhull School computer lab. This is the first installment in a four year plan to update the district’s technology equipment.
The proposed budget funds the high school college counseling center and extra-curricular activities at Woodhull School, J. Taylor Finley Middle School and Huntington High School, including drama club productions, student councils and student newspapers.
The budget includes $570,899 for new textbooks and workbooks, $37,644 for new library books, $90,000 for computer software and $560,257 for instructional equipment, including new computers.
Trustees allocated $2.025 million in reserves to help mitigate the estimated tax rate increase, which is pegged at 2.89 percent. If residents approve the budget, taxes on the average home assessed at $3,650 would increase $218.64 before STAR program savings are factored in. The tax rate would rise from $207.815 per $100 of assessed valuation to an estimated $213.14.
Capital Reserve Proposition
Residents will also have an opportunity to vote on a Capital Reserve Fund proposition that includes $2.299 million worth of projects. The district currently has $5,309,967 available for such work. The monies can only be used for renovation and reconstruction projects as authorized by voters.
The projects include chemistry lab renovation and replacement of the security, clock and public address systems at Huntington High School; replacement of the clock, security and public address systems at J. Taylor Finley Middle School; replacement of the fire alarm and clock systems at Woodhull School; installation of a building access control system and replacement of the security system at Flower Hill School; security system replacement at Jack Abrams School; installation of a building access control system and replacement of the security system at Jefferson School; installation of a building access control system, replacement of the security system and parking lot and sidewalk renovations at Southdown School; and installation of a building access control system, replacement of the security and public address systems, and roadway, parking lot and sidewalk renovations at Washington School.
Passage of the capital proposition will not increase taxes since the monies are already in place and can only be used for renovation, reconstruction and repair projects. The reserve fund allows the district to complete such projects without borrowing money and incurring interest expenses.
Residents will also have an opportunity to elect three members to the Board of Education for three-year terms commencing on July 1, 2012 and running through June 30, 2015.
Candidates include incumbent Emily Rogan and challengers Bill Dwyer, Tom DiGiacomo, Xavier Palacios and Susan Tully. Incumbent Elizabeth Black and Kimberly Brown have decided not to run for re-election.
Eligibility to Vote
To be eligible to vote in the election, an individual must be a U.S. citizen, 18 years of age or older, a resident of Huntington School District for at least 30 days and be registered to vote in a general election or with the school district.
For more information, call District Clerk Elizabeth Troffa at 673-2126.
Source: Huntington School District Public Information Office