VOTING

7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Bethpage High School gym.

THE BUDGET

The district is proposing a budget of $72,882,764 for the 2010-11 school year, a 1.88 percent increase over the current budget of $71,539,276. The local tax levy would rise to $57,406,317 from $54,737,693, an increase of 4.88 percent.

An average single-family home in the district, valued at $402,000, would see a 5.03 percent tax increase - to $6,120 from the current $5,827.

Bethpage's teachers, who are entering the final year of their contract, will receive a 3.5 percent raise, the district says. Central office administrators will have a salary freeze.

The district will cut five teacher positions through attrition and declining enrollment but has not planned any reductions of significant programs or services.

District website: bethpage community.com/Schools

THE CANDIDATES

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Incumbents Thomas Frost and Joel Dauman are running unopposed. Walter Gabrinowitz, Shawn Patrick Golden and Marie Swierkowski are running for the seat of Kurt Spears, who is not seeking re-election. All terms are three years.

Walter Gabrinowitz

BACKGROUND: Gabrinowitz, 42, owns a sports clothing store in Plainview. He and his wife, Laura, have three children in Bethpage elementary schools.

ISSUES: Gabrinowitz said the district is running well and lauded the board for limiting this year's proposed budget increase to 1.88 percent. "I look forward to just getting in with the board and even improve further what they've done," he said. He's coached youth sports at all ages but wants to do more. "I want to be involved, and I care about my kids' education," he said.

Shawn Patrick Golden

BACKGROUND: Golden, 23, is on schedule to graduate with an MBA from Hofstra University this spring. He also works as a financial adviser at a local credit union. A graduate of Bethpage High School, he holds a bachelor of arts degree from Hofstra. Golden is single and has lived in the district for 16 years.

ISSUES: Golden said he would push for more financial education in classrooms, including mandatory instruction based on "real world experiences." Golden said many of his contemporaries don't understand how to manage their money or how the economy works. "I have friends who have hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt from school, and they never even read the student loan forms because no one taught them to do that," he said. He also said he will try to lower taxes. "To achieve this, I will use my financial skills to implement innovative ideas."

Marie Swierkowski

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BACKGROUND: Swierkowski, 47, is a senior account clerk and bookkeeper in another school district. She and her husband, Ray, have two children who both graduated from Bethpage High School. She has lived in the district for 25 years.

ISSUES: Swierkowski wants to start a mentoring program with Bethpage High School graduates and district students. She said she's interested in drug-awareness programs. Swierkowski would also try to make community members more aware of education issues outside the district. "A lot of people don't keep up with state politics," she said. "Every time I talk to people, I explain that to them. I think I would take a larger stand and try to get everybody involved."