VOTING

6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Kings Park High School.

THE BUDGET

The district proposes a $86,655,918 budget for 2016-17, a 2.27 percent increase over the current $84,729,293. The local tax levy would rise 1.2 percent from $65,631,130 to $66,420,917.

This increase is equal to the district’s tax-cap limit, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget.

School taxes on the average single-family home would increase by 1.2 percent, from $8,234.33 to $8,333.14.

The proposed budget includes a flat base salary contractual increase of 1.75 percent for teachers, but no step increase. It cuts an elementary teacher to retirement due to declining enrollment, while adding a part-time middle school choral position and a new engineering elective and business-law elective at the high school.

A proposition asks voters for permission to purchase four school buses and one dump truck for no more than $520,000. The district said there would be no additional effect on the tax levy because the first year of the financed purchase is included in the proposed budget.

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  • District website:

kpcsd.k12.ny.us

THE CANDIDATES

Incumbent Pam DeFord and candidates JuanPablo Andrade, Francis Braun and Dan Tew are running for two at-large seats. DeFord and Tew are running as a team and Andrade and Braun are running as a team. Terms are three years.

Pam DeFord

BACKGROUND: DeFord, 48, is a third-grade teacher in the Northport-East Northport district who has been on the board since 2014 and serves as president. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in special education, both from Dowling College. She has lived in the district for 21 years and her child attends a district school. DeFord is a former St. Joseph’s Parish religion teacher and a former Girl Scout leader.

ISSUES: DeFord said the district needs to achieve financial stability, and she wants to focus on finding more sources of revenue as the district copes with increasing unfunded state mandates. She pointed out that she formed a legislative committee that recouped state funding, and proposes exploring converting to solar energy to reduce costs. She also is an advocate for more local control over the district’s curriculum and budget. “The leadership skills that I have exhibited during my first term have taken the district in a positive direction, which I want to continue,” she said.

JuanPablo Andrade

BACKGROUND: Andrade, 19, is a full-time student at The King’s College in New York. Andrade is a lifelong district resident who attended district schools. He is a member of New Yorkers United for Kids — an anti-Common Core group — and the Asking Myself Association, a Long Island anti-bullying organization. He also is a Smithtown Republican Committee member.

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ISSUES: Andrade said he is against Common Core and said he wants to work with state education officials to make sure the Common Core “experiment doesn’t get harder for the students than it is right now.” He proposes renting out Kings Park athletic facilities and buildings to community groups to bring in revenue. He said he wants to bring “some youth, diversity and innovation” to the district. “I am creative. I think outside of the box and I have a lot more time to devote to this job than anyone running, and … anyone on the board,” he said.

Francis Braun

BACKGROUND: Braun, 48, is a retired New York City police officer. He has a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Hofstra University. He is a 16-year district resident and has three children attending district schools. Braun has coached soccer and football for youth in Kings Park and is a current Catholic Youth Organization basketball coach.

ISSUES: Braun said the district needs to be more transparent “to hold people accountable for their actions.” He wants to foster an environment for parents to express concerns and weigh in on board decisions, such as at board meetings, in an online message board and through his website. “No matter how big or small your complaint is, I want to hear it to make sure that your voice is heard,” he said.

Dan Tew

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BACKGROUND: Tew, 38, is a JetBlue Airways captain. He has a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. A lifelong district resident, he has three children attending district schools. He is a former flight instructor for the BOCES aviation program and is involved with the Ancient Order of Hibernians and a college and career readiness program.

ISSUES: Tew said his primary focus will be negotiating a “fair and balanced contract” for teachers, whose contract expires at the end of next school year. He said he wants to work with the board’s legislative committee to find loans and grants to pay for unfunded mandates, and work with the entire board to reduce energy costs by converting to solar energy. A former BOCES flight instructor, he wants to encourage more students to take part in technical programs. “My daughters are the third generation to go through the district. I would like to ensure that my daughters and their classmates are afforded an exceptional learning environment that will best prepare them for life beyond grade school,” he said.