7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Floral Park-Bellerose School and John Lewis Childs School.
The district proposes a $29,532,238 budget for 2016-17, a 1.14 percent increase from the current $29,200,518. The tax levy would decrease 0.47 percent, from $22,499,955 to $22,393,721.
This decrease is equal is the district’s tax-cap limit of -0.47 percent, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget. School taxes on the average single-family house would remain at $2,811.
The proposed budget includes a contractual increase in teacher salaries of 0.5 percent and a 1.5 percent step increase. Positions for a half-time school psychologist and a kindergarten teacher aide would be added.
A ballot proposition asks voters to authorize a $950,000 capital reserve fund for school building improvements to cafeterias and elevators and for steam trap replacements.
- District website:
Two seats are open in the by-seat election. Incumbent Denise DellaCorte is being challenged by Roni Kropf, and incumbent Douglas Vigo is running unopposed. Terms are three years.
BACKGROUND: DellaCorte, 60, is a retired registered nurse who has lived in the district for 31 years. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from LIU Brooklyn. Her four children graduated from district schools, and she has a grandchild currently attending a district school. DellaCorte was elected to the school board in 2011 to complete the unexpired term of a board member who resigned and in 2013 was elected to a full term. She serves on the board’s strategic planning and wellness committees.
ISSUES: DellaCorte said when she became a board member five years ago, the district faced a “2 percent tax cap and the state-mandated Common Core curriculum.” Since then, she said, “with limited funds, we implemented a successful approach to special education, upgraded technology, increased our music, art and science programs, enriched our summer programs and expanded our kindergarten program to full-day.” She said the school board also maintained and upgraded security and infrastructure in both district schools. DellaCorte said the demands of Common Core, “although challenging,” are being met “by our teachers’ focus and creativity.” She said that as a member of the Third Track Task Force, she is actively involved in working to defeat Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposal for a third track on the Long Island Rail Road line between Floral Park and Hicksville.
BACKGROUND: Kropf, 43, is a science teacher and department head at Memorial Junior High School in the Valley Stream Central High School District. She has a bachelor’s degree in neuropsychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a master’s degree in social work from Adelphi University. She earned administration certification from The College of St. Rose. A district resident for four years, Kropf is a member of the district PTA and of the West End Civic Association. This year, she serves as a delegate for the Sewanhaka Central Council, which reviews educational issues in the high school district. Kropf has three children, two attending district schools and one who will enter school this fall.
ISSUES: Kropf said, “It is most important to educate the whole child, rather than teach to a test.” The current curriculum in Floral Park-Bellerose schools, she said, is “focused heavily on Math and ELA [English language arts] prep, is scripted and not unique to teaching style, or to the varied social, emotional and educational needs of all children.” Kropf said that if elected, she would “draw upon the strengths of my community to put forth a shared goal of creating engaging, comprehensive, well-rounded educational opportunities . . . while remaining fiscally responsible to the taxpayers.”