TODAY'S PAPER
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Long IslandEducation

Franklin Square

VOTING

8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at John Street School, Polk Street School and Washington Street School.

THE BUDGET

The district proposes a $37,806,671 budget for 2017-18, a 1.49 percent increase from the current $37,249,994. The tax levy would increase 1.196 percent, from $26,797,373 to $27,117,906.

This increase equals the district’s tax-cap limit, so a simple majority vote is needed to approve the budget. The district said it could not calculate the amount of taxes the owner of an average single-family home would pay under the proposed budget because Nassau County has not provided the necessary assessment information.

Teachers are scheduled for actual step increases of about 2 percent with no additional contractual increases. There are no staffing reductions planned, but the district would hire another special-education teacher.

Voters also will be asked to approve the expenditure of funds for projects related to the capital reserve. There is no tax increase tied to the referendum. Another proposition asks voters to approve the Sewanhaka Central High School District’s 2017-18 budget of $193,070,535.

THE CANDIDATES

Incumbent Jean Fichtl and candidate William Leder are running for one by-seat position. The term is three years.

Jean Fichtl

BACKGROUND: Fichtl, 69, is retired. She has served on the school board since 1996 and is seeking her eighth term. She is one of the district’s two representatives on the Sewanhaka Central High School District Board. Her two children graduated from H. Frank Carey High School. Fichtl is past president of the Sewanhaka board and vice president of the Franklin Square school board. She is also a past PTA president.

ISSUES: Fichtl said the most important issues facing the district are equal funding from the state for the district and staying current with technology for students. She said the district has purchased iPads for students and wants to purchase additional computers to replace textbooks. Fichtl has called on state legislators to modify unfunded mandates and increase per-pupil spending. “The district has adequate funding, but it’s getting tighter and tighter under the tax cap,” Fichtl said.

William Leder

BACKGROUND: Leder, 50, is an attorney in Garden City. He has served as a coach with the Franklin Square PAL girls’ lacrosse and basketball teams since 2013. Leder has two daughters in the district, attending Washington Street School and H. Frank Carey High School. Leder is also a member of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has a bachelor’s degree from Hobart College and a law degree from St. John’s School of Law.

ISSUES: Leder said he is running to represent parent voices on the school board. Leder said he is in favor of parents having the ability to opt out of Common Core testing and he feels there is too much pressure on scores tied to teacher performance. Leder said he wants to avoid spending cuts to meet the tax cap. “If we had more money, we could spend it on making our schools better and keep what we have,” Leder said.

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