VOTING

6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Bay Shore High School.

THE BUDGET

The district proposes a $146,888,194 budget for 2015-16, a 2 percent increase from the current $143,944,750. The local tax levy would rise 1.06 percent, from $100,837,407 to $101,905,851.

This increase is equal to the state's tax-cap limit of 1.06 percent, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget. School taxes on the average single-family home would increase 1.28 percent, from $7,488 to $7,584.

The budget provides for a 1.3 percent contract increase for teachers as well as varying step increases, if applicable, district officials said.

District website:

bayshoreschools.org

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THE CANDIDATES

Craig Brewer, Susan Gargan and Tuere Morton are vying for two at-large seats. Gregory Nardone and Mary Louise Cohen are not seeking re-election. Terms are three years.

Craig Brewer

BACKGROUND: Brewer, 41, graduated from Bay Shore High School and has lived in the district his whole life. He earned a bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University and owns an education business that brings international high school students to the United States for educational and cultural programs. He coaches baseball for Bay Shore Brightwaters Little League and has five children who attend schools in the district.

ISSUES: Brewer said that as a lifelong resident of the Bay Shore-Brightwaters community whose children attend district schools, he knows the lay of the land. With his background in business, Brewer said he would help keep the district's belt tight financially. He said the district has to run as efficiently as possible without sacrificing its assets -- an International Baccalaureate Program, Advanced Placement classes and arts and music. "The Bay Shore district is one of the hidden gems on Long Island, there's a lot of positive . . . and we want to keep that going," Brewer said, adding that his priority is maintaining the strength of educational programs. He said he would aim as a board member to engage more with the community.

Susan Gargan

BACKGROUND: Gargan, 46, is an educational administrator at Eastern Suffolk BOCES who has lived in the district her whole life and graduated from Bay Shore High School. She has a bachelor's degree in elementary education/special education from St. Joseph's University and a master's degree in liberal studies from Stony Brook University. She has two daughters who attend district schools.

ISSUES: Gargan said she wants to restore trust between the district, the board and the community and to increase communication and transparency. After the district voted to pierce the 2 percent tax cap two years ago, she started regularly attending board meetings. "I feel informed, I'm involved in education and I have a real vested interest in this community and a knowledge base that has something to offer," Gargan said. She said she wants to examine the way board meetings are run so attendees have more chances to contribute, and, as a board member, would try to get immediate answers to their questions. "A lot of times it's, 'We'll get back to you,' " Gargan said. As a parent, educator and lifelong community member, Gargan said she wants to bring a fresh but knowledgeable perspective to the board.

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Tuere Morton

BACKGROUND: Morton, 39, is a community health nurse who has lived in the district for nearly 12 years. She has a bachelor's degree in nursing from Molloy College and a master's degree in nursing from Stony Brook University. She is an executive board member of the Bay Shore Summit Council, chairwoman of the Bay Shore-Brightwaters Multi-Cultural Committee, serves on the Bay Shore Schools Arts Education Fund, the school board's Achievement Gap Task Force, and the Islip Town branch of the NAACP. Her oldest son graduated from Bay Shore High School and she has two children in district schools.

ISSUES: Morton said she will focus on narrowing the achievement gap and working efficiently within the tax cap while keeping the things that she said make Bay Shore schools successful and unique, such as a good teacher-to-student ratio and strong arts, cultural and educational programs. The board member position "should be held by someone seasoned who has spent that kind of time in the community," Morton said. "It should be somebody who understands everything about the renaissance of the community over the last 20 years and has great respect and love for Bay Shore-Brightwaters."