TODAY'S PAPER
51° Good Afternoon
51° Good Afternoon
Long IslandEducation

Hicksville school district

VOTING

7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Burns Avenue, Dutch Lane, East Street, Fork Lane, Lee Avenue, Old Country Road and Woodland elementary schools.

THE BUDGET

The district proposes a $135,686,223 budget for 2018-19, an 0.67 percent increase from the current $134,781,267.

The tax levy would rise 1.89 percent, from $100,402,028 to $102,299,710.

This increase is equal to the district’s tax-cap limit of 1.89 percent, so a simple majority will be required to approve the budget.

The district said it could not calculate school taxes on the average single-family home because the final tax rate will not be determined by the Nassau County assessor’s office until October.

The proposed budget calls for an average increase of 2 percent in teacher salaries. It includes a new Foreign Language in the Elementary Schools (FLES) program teacher, an additional prekindergarten teacher and teaching assistants, another American Sign Language teacher, another assistant principal in the middle school, and more administrative support in the business and personnel offices.

The spending plan also has increased student support from expanded school psychologist and guidance counselor services, as well as more instructional periods in art, business education, English, English as a Second Language, health, home and careers, technology, math, music, physical education, reading, science, social studies and special education.

Voters will decide two propositions.

The first seeks authorization to establish a technology capital reserve fund at a maximum $1,721,030 for security upgrades and technology projects at various schools. It would carry a three-year term and be funded by a transfer of $1 million of unexpended surplus from the Workers’ compensation reserve and $721,030 from the unemployment reserve.

If the proposition is approved, security additions and upgrades would include surveillance cameras, “man trap” vestibules, door-access controls and door swipes. Technology additions and upgrades would include elementary school Wi-Fi, an audio/video system for the high school’s small theater and technology for classrooms.

A second proposition asks voters to approve a $60,000 payment to the Hicksville Gregory Museum for educational services associated with its programs.

District website:

hicksvillepublicschools.org

THE CANDIDATES

Two by-seat positions are open. Incumbent Brenda Judson is being challenged by Kyle Singh. Incumbent Phil Heckler is unopposed. Terms are three years.

Brenda Judson

BACKGROUND: Judson, 60, is a retiree who served 42 years as a senior manager for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, where she chaired numerous committees. She earned her bachelor’s degree in industrial labor relations from CUNY Queens College in 2012 and her master’s degree in human resources from Catholic University of America in 2017. She recently became a Sandy Hook Promise Leader. Judson has served on the school board since 2012 — the past two years as vice president — and has two grown daughters who attended district schools. She has held numerous leadership positions in the Hicksville PTA and served as a Girl Scout leader and Gold Award adviser.

ISSUES: The biggest issues facing the district, she said, are hiring a new superintendent; focusing on school safety, security and mental health; and expanding special education and BOCES vocational programs. “The safety and security of our children while in school seems to be of greater concern than at any time in the past,” Judson said. “Every parent of a child knows that it’s hard enough to keep their child safe at home, but a whole set of new challenges may arise when the child goes off to school.” To help those efforts, Judson said she chairs a District Safety Committee that meets monthly and has worked to implement a districtwide safety program, with frequent drills in every building and training of all staff regarding response to active shooter situations. “Whatever the situation, most parents would agree that their number one goal in sending their child to school is to give them the opportunity to learn in a safe, peaceful and secure environment.”

Kyle Singh

BACKGROUND: Singh, 18, is a first-year student at Georgetown University who has lived in the district for the past 10 years. At Georgetown, he is an editor of the university’s Tocqueville Forum and a member of the Philodemic Society. When he was a student at Hicksville High School, he founded the Astronomy Club and was captain of the varsity tennis team. If elected, Singh said, he would travel home from Washington, D.C., to Long Island every other week to attend school board meetings. “This is a commitment that I will keep, given that the meetings are all scheduled in advance,” he said.

ISSUES: The most important issue facing the district is that it has “an outdated system that does not give students the opportunity to reach their full potential,” Singh said. “My team and I, our entire platform is focused on making sure students are given a fair chance to do this.” Specifically, Singh is calling for a mentorship program between high school and elementary school students, a streamlined clubs system to allow students to lead a topic they care about, and a tangible honor code system to prevent the spread of cheating. He said he also would like to implement a budget system that “allocates funds to programs based on their merit.”

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Latest Long Island News