The budget, Relay for Life, and demands for better schools were all discussed at the monthly Board of Education meeting held at Malverne High School this week.
District Business Administration Thomas McDaid reviewed and informed the residents in attendance about the 2012-2013 school budget and the newly added that will be voted on the same day. the proposed budget is an increase of 2.44 percent, which is within the 2 percent tax cap that the state mandated.
McDaid explained a new proposition that was recently added to the Mya 15 ballot, titled Proposition 2, a $312,000 capital project. If passed, the funds will be used to replace the gym roof at Malverne High School.
Spiro Colaitis, Assistant Superintendent for District Operations, explained to parents and residents in attendance that the gym roof has faced rapid deterioration within the past six months and has caused leaks in the gym.
“We have had the roof for 25 years, and it had a 20 year life expectancy,” stated Colaitis. "It is beyond repair now and it needs to be replaced."
McDaid stated, “If Proposition 2 is passed, it does not affect the tax levy, and if it fails, the roof still needs to be replaced, so money would be taken out of the 2012-2013 budget.” However, when they start the process of creating the 2013-2014 budget it would show they lost revenue and would start with 312,000 less.
Unlike the 2010 bond that was passed, Proposition 1, which is the budget, does not need to pass in order for Proposition 2 to pass.
Colaitis also updated residents on the capital bond projects that are under construction at Maurice W. Downing Primary School and Davison Avenue Intermediate School.
“The addition at Downing is structurally complete and is having the plumbing installed, and at Davison Avenue the structure should be completed within a couple of weeks,” stated Colaitis. These bond projects are on schedule to be completed on time.
Relay for Life 2012
The annual Relay for Life, which was held on May 4, was a huge success raising more than $40,000, surpassing last year’s amount. There were more than 400 participants, 24 teams and over 500 luminaries sold.
One of the teams that raised the most was the Junior Mules at Downing Elementary School, bringing in more than $9,000. The students at Davison Avenue School also raised an impressive $6,000. Colaitis thanked Michael Taylor, who brought Relay for Life to Malverne, for his hard work.
Raising the Bar
During the public input, many residents voiced their opinion on bettering the school district and improving education.
Phyllis Wright, a former board member and principal, even asked why the district's passing grade of 65 couldn't be raised. Others questioned why Malverne wasn't looking to its neighboring district, Rockville Centre, whose high school was just ranked No. 2 in the state, to borrow what's working for them.
Superintendent James Hunderfund agreed and understood the parents concerns about their children’s education. However, he did explain that the Malverne School District has improved a tremendous amount.
“Malverne is one in 11 school districts on Long Island that has received national recognition, 90 percent of high school graduates have gone to college, $2 million worth of scholarships and monetary awards awarded to seniors, Malverne has received an Advance Placement improvement award,” stated Hunderfund.
In addition, the amount of students that are on the honor roll has increased to 30 percent of the student body, there are lower suspension rates, and the amount of Regents and advanced Regents diplomas has also increased.
“There are been a lot of people and committees that helped improved these statistics and we continue to strive to improve education,” added Deputy Superintendent Richard Banyon.
Still, parents and residents questioned the statistics and whether students are really prepared for college when they graduate.
The Board of Education and Administration reminded residents to vote on Tuesday, May 15 on the budget and the vacant seats on the Board of Education. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. at Howard T. Herber Middle School.
You can check out the presentation that residents in attendance received at the meeting in our PDFs section, along with a report from the architecture about the structure and the condition of the gym roof.