VOTING

6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Accompsett, Nesconset, Smithtown and St. James elementary schools.

THE BUDGET

The district proposes a $229,498,602 budget for 2015-16, a 0.91 percent increase from the current $227,437,991.

The local tax levy would increase 2.215 percent, from $178,812,788 to $182,773,399. That equals the state's tax-cap limit of 2.215 percent, so a simple majority will be required to pass the budget. School taxes paid on the average single-family home would increase 2.215 percent, from $9,071.97 to $9,272.91.

In addition to the budget, voters will be asked to approve a second proposition that would establish a capital reserve fund. There would be no immediate additional costs to establish the fund. District officials said the proposed budget calls for no reductions in staff. It would restore electives and provide for additional special education programs.

District website:

www.smithtown.k12.ny.us

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THE CANDIDATES

MaryRose Rafferty and Jeremy Thode are running for the seat held by Matthew Morton, who is not seeking re-election. Incumbent Christopher Alcure is running unopposed. Terms are three years.

MaryRose Rafferty

BACKGROUND: Rafferty, 44, is a controller for CCC Custom Carpentry in Hicksville. She received an associate degree in physical therapy from LaGuardia Community College in Queens in 1993. Rafferty has lived in the district for 11 years. She and her husband have a child who attends Smithtown schools and two others who graduated from the district. Rafferty has been president of the Special Education PTA since 2013 and previously served as that group's treasurer. She served on the planning committee of Smithtown Parent University, which hosts workshops to help parents provide health and wellness training for their children. This is her first run for school board.

ISSUES: Rafferty is concerned about the impact of state tests associated with Common Core on students and teacher evaluations. She favors "local control" to replace "flawed standardized testing." Said Rafferty, "I felt compelled that we needed a voice on the board of education that will be willing to invoke more in- depth how to help the children in our district." She said she hopes state officials restore funding that she said was diverted from Smithtown to more needy districts.

Jeremy Thode

BACKGROUND: Thode, 43, is director of health, physical education, business, fine and applied art, technology, family and consumer science, and athletics for the Center Moriches school district. He received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Marist College in Poughkeepsie in 1994 and a master's degree in physical education from Adelphi University in Garden City in 1998. Thode also has a school district administrator certification from Stony Brook University. He has three children attending Smithtown schools. This is his first run for the school board.

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ISSUES: Thode said he is running because he favors "protecting our school district" and because he is concerned about state tests that he believes are too onerous for students. "I think the kids are getting lost in a lot of the grown-up issues," he said. He said the new Common Core curriculum "was rolled out too quickly" before districts could prepare staff and students. He said Smithtown educators were "tremendous" and have helped his children. "I think they're doing the best they can under the circumstances," he said of Smithtown teachers. "But I think their hands are tied in different ways."