SCHOOL OPENINGS Thirty-three of Long Island's 124 public school districts start classes Tuesday, followed by 78 districts on Wednesday and 12 on Thursday, according to regional BOCES offices. The Bridgehampton district starts Sept. 8.
ENROLLMENTS Islandwide, public school enrollment in grades K-12 is expected to drop 1.3 percent from last year -- to 437,489 -- continuing a gradual decline that began six years ago. Similar annual declines are projected to occur through at least 2016, according to Western Suffolk BOCES demographers.
DISTRICT FINANCES A $125.7 million, election-year infusion of state financial aid is helping schools in Nassau and Suffolk counties maintain student programs, though most districts still receive less assistance now than they did before the 2008 financial crash. All districts will operate with voter-approved budgets totaling more than $11.7 billion. Bridgehampton and East Hampton won voter overrides of state tax caps, allowing those districts to raise property taxes beyond their tax-levy limits.
TEACHER CONTRACTS No teacher job actions are expected by representatives of New York State United Teachers, the state's largest educator union. Local teacher unions are entering their fourth year without contracts in Amityville, Lawrence and Lindenhurst, while teachers are starting their third year without contracts in Babylon, Cold Spring Harbor, Levittown, Long Beach, New Hyde Park-Garden City Park and North Babylon. Teachers in another 14 districts have been without contracts for a year, and contracts in 29 additional districts expired this summer.