TODAY'S PAPER
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Long IslandEducation

Bayport-Blue Point school district

VOTING

7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Bayport-Blue Point High School.

THE BUDGET

The district proposes a $71,761,393 budget for 2018-19, a 2.02 percent increase from the current $70,339,132. The tax levy would increase by 2.46 percent from $48,871,075 to $50,073,387.

This increase is equal to the 2.46 percent state tax cap limit, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget.

School taxes on an average single family home are expected to increase 2.46 percent. The dollar amount of the school tax paid on an average single family house under the current budget was unavailable because the district was unable to obtain average assessed values on single family homes.

The proposed budget calls for teachers to get a contractual raise of 1 percent and an average 2.6 percent step increase.

District website:

bbpschools.org

THE CANDIDATES

William Holl is running unopposed for the seat of incumbent Gina Murphy, who is not seeking re-election; John Kroog and Matthew Seery are running for the seat of incumbent Christopher Richardt who is not seeking re-election. Terms are three years.

John Kroog

BACKGROUND: Kroog, 49, has lived in the district for 17 years. He works in sales management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in athletic administration from St. John’s University. He is the president of Bayport-Blue Point Youth Lacrosse. He has three children who attend schools in the district.

ISSUES: Kroog said the greatest issue facing the district is the recently declining enrollment in local schools. He proposes partnering with local real estate agents to create a portfolio on why living in the local school district is great for all prospective homeowners. He also said the district should identify alternative revenue streams that will provide funds needed to maintain quality teacher-to-student ratios and programs and services needed every year for every Bayport-Blue Point student to succeed.

Matthew Seery

BACKGROUND: Seery, 35, has lived in the district for 26 years. He is an English teacher and holds a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Albany and a master’s in secondary education from Dowling College. He has two sons, one starting kindergarten in the district in the fall and another who will be going to the local schools in two years.

ISSUES: Seery said that one of the most important issues facing Bayport-Blue Point in the near future is the decline in enrollment. While this is an issue in many districts across the island, it is one being addressed by the current board and superintendent, he said. As a trustee, he “would continue working with the current enrollment committee and the community to figure out how to attract young families to the district,” he said. He advocates working with local real estate agents and businesses to advertise the district’s schools and neighborhoods. “While smaller classes are ideal for learning, the district does have to be cost effective, and the last thing I wish to see are layoffs for those trying to support their own families and communities, so we have to be innovative in finding new revenue streams,” he said, adding that he supports the installation of solar panels on the roof of district buildings to cut down on energy costs.

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