TODAY'S PAPER
Scattered Clouds 53° Good Morning
Scattered Clouds 53° Good Morning

VOTING

6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Islip High School.

THE BUDGET

The district proposes a $82,443,203 budget for 2017-18, a 1.93 percent increase from the current $80,882,464. The tax levy would rise by 1.71 percent, from $56,462,846 to $57,425,613.

This increase is equal to the district’s tax-cap limit, so a simple majority will be required to approve the budget. School taxes on the average single-family home with Basic Star would rise 1.71 percent, from $7,504 to $7,632.

The proposed budget would provide a 0.5 percent salary increase as well as a 2.6 percent step increase for teachers. It calls for a reduction of two teaching assistants, one monitor and 3.8 instructional staff members. It includes the addition of one special-education teacher and one English as a New Language teacher to meet state regulations, while two elementary reductions will be reallocated.

  • District website: islipufsd.org

THE CANDIDATES

There are two open seats in the by-seat election. Incumbent Dave Twomey is being challenged by Kelly Vallette. Incumbent Phil Dineen is running unopposed. Terms are three years.

Dave Twomey

BACKGROUND: Twomey, 59, has lived in the school district for 30 years. He is a narcotics and vice squad detective with the Nassau County Police Department, where he has worked for the past 32 years. He attended Queens College and received an associate degree from LaGuardia Community College. He has three children, all of whom graduated from Islip High School.

ISSUES: Twomey, who has served on the school board for the past six years, says he would work on planning to deal with declining enrollment, which, in turn, equates to less state aid available for the district. “We’d like to keep as many services as we can,” he said. Twomey also said he would like to implement drone training for students so they “could get a jump start” on learning a skill that “is part of the future.” He said he would like to see Islip offer International Baccalaureate classes and to continue the school board’s progress in providing “transparent” budget presentations.

Kelly Vallette

BACKGROUND: Vallette, 52, has lived in the school district for 17 years and is a teacher in the grade six inclusion program in the Comsewogue school district. Her husband is an English junior high teacher in the Longwood school district. She graduated from St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue with a bachelor’s degree and earned a master’s degree in special education from Queens College. She has been a member of the Islip Middle School PTA, where she was the treasurer from 2015 to 2016. Vallette has two children, both enrolled at Islip High School.

ISSUES: Vallette said she would like to “help the residents of the Islip school district to continue providing a state-of-the-art, well-rounded education to our children.” If elected, Vallette said she would “help our board of education and administration pass a budget that ensures that quality education without overburdening our Islip community with high tax increases.” Vallette said she would like to help boost parental involvement in board meetings. She said while she sees that quality teachers and education are “necessary,” she wants to be able to help understand and control the “ridiculous taxes” those in the district are asked to pay.

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