6 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Whiporwil School.
The district proposes a budget of $105,393,040 for 2015-16, a 0.91 percent increase from the current $104,437,521. The local tax levy would rise 0.24 percent, from $81,191,357 to $81,385,340. This increase is equal to the state's tax-cap limit of 0.24 percent, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget. School taxes on the average single-family home in the Town of Islip would increase 0.29 percent, from $6,101 to $6,119; school taxes in the Town of Smithtown would increase 0.24 percent, from $6,074 to $6,089. The teachers' contract expired in June 2014 and is under negotiation.
The proposed budget calls for three new teachers, an additional half-time security guard, a new elementary literacy program and an in-house cosmetology CTE program. A ballot referendum asks for authorization to construct an artificial turf field and replace vinyl asbestos tile at Hauppauge High School at a cost not to exceed $1.7 million, to be funded from the district's unrestricted fund balance as of June 30, 2015.
Michael Buscarino, Susan B. Hodosky and Stacey Weisberg are vying for two at-large seats. Buscarino and Weisberg are running as a team. Ann Macaluso and Eileen Mass are not seeking re-election. Terms are three years.
Michael Buscarino BACKGROUND: Buscarino, 40, is a Suffolk County police officer who lives in Smithtown. He graduated with a degree in exercise science from University at Buffalo in 1996 and has lived in the district 10 years. An assistant Cub Scout master for two years and a member of the PTA, he has four children, including a fifth-grader, third-grader and first-grader, who attend public schools in the district, and a preschooler. Another child is on the way. He also is a member of the Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association.
ISSUES: Buscarino said he decided to run "because the district is starting to move in a good direction and I wanted to be a part of it." The biggest challenge is "finding the best way to mediate between what government is imposing on kids and giving teachers the power to teach what is necessary," he said. The board must fight to retain local control "despite Albany's heavy-handed tactics" and the district must carefully monitor the quality and appropriateness of testing, he said. He is running with Weisberg.
Susan B. Hodosky
BACKGROUND: Hodosky, 50, is the director of revenue for the Suffolk County Department of Health Services. A resident of the district for 20 years, she graduated with a degree in accounting in 1992 from the College at Old Westbury. Three of her four children graduated from Hauppauge schools and a fourth is in 11th grade. She served two terms on the board of education, from 2008 to 2014, and was president beginning in 2014 for six months. She was chairwoman of the audit committee and served on the advocacy committee.
ISSUES: Hodosky said her previous experience would provide the board with consistency, and she would like to increase the board's transparency. She said she would like to have the district write its own Common Core curriculum to make it easier for parents to work with their children. "Our students are required to do Common Core but we are not required to use modules from the state," she said. Common Core, she said, is "not a bad concept, but its implementation has been a disaster."
BACKGROUND: Weisberg, 43, is a fifth-grade teacher in the Northport-East Northport school district. A resident of the Hauppauge district for 15 years, she graduated from Iona College in New Rochelle in 1993 with a degree in psychology and elementary education. She received her master's in education from Stony Brook University in 1998. Her two children are in the seventh and eighth grades in the district.
ISSUES: The biggest issue facing all schools districts, she said, is the new teacher evaluation system and tax caps. While changes mandated by Albany and Washington, D.C., have caused concern, she said, "this is a very exciting time in education as the community has become very involved, not only here in Hauppauge, but across the entire state." She said she wants to ensure all grades continue to see smaller class sizes. The current board has "a wonderful vision." With her teaching expertise, she said, "I can bring that perspective." She is running with Buscarino.