TODAY'S PAPER
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Long IslandEducation

Franklin Square school district

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 $38,783,000 budget for 2018-19, a 2.58 percent increase from the current $37,806,671 budget. The tax levy would increase 2.65 percent, from $27,117,906 to $27,836,616.

This increase equals the district’s 2.65 percent 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.

The proposed contract calls for 2 percent step increases for teachers and no additional contractual increases. There are no staffing changes are planned.

Voters also will be asked to approve “the expenditure of funds for projects related to the capital reserve,” district officials said. There is no tax increase tied to the referendum, the district said.

District website:

franklinsquare.k12.ny.us

THE CANDIDATES

Incumbent Helen Hoffman is running unopposed; Incumbent Joseph Lewinger is being challenged by Jean Fichtl. The term is three years.

Jean Fichtl

BACKGROUND: Fichtl, 70, is retired. She previously served on the Franklin Square Union Free school board from 1996 to 2017. She is a past president at the Sewanhaka Central High School District Board and the Franklin Square PTA. Her two children graduated from H. Frank Carey High School.

ISSUES: Fichtl said the most important issue facing the district is getting enough state funding to keep programs intact. Fichtl said the district needs to have a good relationship with state legislators while facing limited funding and a tax cap. She said she has invited legislators to speak with the district and surrounding school districts. She said security in schools should be a priority to make a safe environment for learning.

Joseph Lewinger

BACKGROUND:Lewinger, 40, is a high school teacher and an athletic director at The Mary Lewis Academy in Jamaica Estates, Queens. He has lived in Franklin Square for 12 years and served as a trustee on the Franklin Square School Board since 2015. Lewinger earned his bachelor’s degree at St. Joseph’s College and a master’s in curriculum development and instructional technology at the University at Albany. He is also the New York City Catholic Athletic Conference vice president. He has been a coach for the Garden City South Little League. He has three children attending Franklin Square schools.

ISSUES: Lewinger said he wants to improve school safety and has worked with the Board of Education to make schools safer by diverting funding to add security guards to schools. He said the board has also commissioned an expert from a consulting firm on how to best protect schools.

He said state aid will be an ongoing issue for the district and the district needs to keep programs intact to address student academic, social and behavioral needs.

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