TODAY'S PAPER
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VOTING

2 to 10 p.m. Tuesday at Elwood Middle School.

THE BUDGET

The district proposes a $60,330,370 budget for 2017-18, an increase of 1.47 percent from the current $59,458,599. The tax levy would increase by 1.99 percent, from $43,846,884 to $44,719,437.

This increase is within the district’s tax-cap limit of 2.118 percent, so a simple majority is needed to approve the budget.

School taxes on the average single-family home would rise by 3.23 percent, from $10,018 to $10,342.

The proposed budget includes teacher salary estimates, which are subject to contract negotiations. Three full-time-equivalent teaching positions would be restored, along with three full-time teaching assistants. The district also would add Advanced Placement Capstone seminar classes.

A proposition asks voters to decide whether, beginning in May 2018, they will select trustees as at-large representatives rather than continuing the current by-seat process — meaning the candidates who receive the highest vote totals overall would be elected to the board.

THE CANDIDATES

There are two by-seat positions open. Matthew Curiale and Becky Marcus are seeking one seat, while incumbent Julia Fried is running unopposed. Terms are three years.

Matthew Curiale

BACKGROUND: Curiale, 41, has lived in the district for 11 years. He is a special-education teacher and varsity coach in New York City. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Dowling College and his master’s degree in special education, with additional credits in educational administration, also at Dowling. He joined the district’s Citizens Finance Budget Advisory Committee this year and has been the soccer coach for 10 years. He has three children in district schools.

ISSUES: Exposure to athletics, arts and music as well as academics is important to educating the whole child, Curiale said. “We have to maintain programs we have and enhance them, while keeping the tax base in mind,” he said. He added that he would try to eliminate some of the state tests, and would reach out to other districts to see what they can do by lobbying as a group. He’d also like to see a policy limiting homework so students have a better school-home balance and would try to eliminate some of what he called “out-of-control state testing.”

Becky Marcus

BACKGROUND: Marcus, 39, has lived in the district for 10 years. She is a homemaker and nonpracticing attorney. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Baylor University and her law degree at St. John’s University. She is a board member at Step By Step Preschool, active in the PTA and is the Harley Avenue School cultural arts chairperson and a member of the Harley Avenue Primary School Shared Decision Making Committee, and also is coordinator of the Mothers of Preschoolers group in South Huntington. She has two children in district schools.

ISSUES: The local communities’ vision has to be the loudest in the school, Marcus said, and that is what she would represent. “I’m passionate as a parent and community member,” she said. “My background as an attorney helps me sort through the mumbo-jumbo, which is paramount to making sure what we’re doing fits best in the community.” She said she will work to provide the pragmatic oversight that’s needed in face of continuing financial and other pressures.

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