TODAY'S PAPER
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Long IslandEducation

Islip school district

VOTING

6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday in the Islip High School gymnasium.

THE BUDGET

The district proposes an $83,956,103 budget for 2018-19, a 1.84 percent increase from the current $82,443,203. The tax levy would increase 1.66 percent, from $57,425,613 to $58,377,597. This increase is equal to the district’s 1.66 percent tax-cap limit, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget.

The district did not provide the amount of school taxes on the average single-family home in the district.

Regarding the proposed budget’s impact on teacher salaries, a district official wrote: “teachers took 0.25 percent less to help with budget for a 0.75 percent increase and step.” The official did not respond to a request for clarification.

The proposed budget also calls for cutting two full-time positions because of declining enrollment.

District website:

islipufsd.org

THE CANDIDATES

There are three by-seat positions open. Eric S. Buehler and Matthew Kriss are running for the seat of Brian P. Clock, who is not seeking re-election. Paul J. Austin is running unopposed for the seat of Mary Ann Coughlin, who is not seeking re-election. Buehler and Austin are running as a team. Incumbent Tom Leggio is running unopposed. Terms are three years.

Eric S. Buehler

BACKGROUND: Buehler, 40, is a funeral director. He has lived in the district his entire life. He has a bachelor’s degree in film from New York University and a graduate certificate from the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service. Buehler has one daughter who attends school in the district, and his wife works for the district. He is a past president of the Rotary Club of Islip, a past president of the Islip Chamber of Commerce, a founding member of the Islip School-Business Partnership, a board member at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, and a commissioner in the Islip Fire District.

ISSUES: Buehler said he would seek greater district influence over standardized testing. “The whole Common Core program is just pretty much run by the folks up in Albany, not by local educators,” he said. Buehler said he personally is opposed to such tests and has opted-out his daughter. Buehler said he would also seek to improve communication with residents who had concerns about the district. He also said he would like to expand security staffing at schools “to maintain the safety of our children.”

Matthew Kriss

BACKGROUND: Kriss, 27, is a special-education teacher. He has lived in the district his entire life. He received a bachelor’s of business administration in management from Iona College and is pursuing a master’s degree in education from Touro College.

ISSUES: Kriss said he would seek to expand course offerings in career and technical education, as well as in science, technology engineering and mathematics, which he said would help prepare students for a wider variety of careers. Kriss also said he would look for more opportunities to incorporate computer-based learning into curricula. “In order for students to really prepare . . . they need to be enmeshed in every technology,” he said. Kriss also cited school safety as a primary concern. “Proactive security measures have to be taken to guarantee the safety of the children and staff,” he said. One such measure would be granting local law enforcement immediate access to school security camera feeds, he said. Kriss also said he would seek to hold funding steady for extracurricular programs in the arts and sports.

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