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Long IslandEducation

Lawrence

SCHOOL VOTERS GUIDE

BUDGET

SPENDING $102,449,281, the same amount as the 2018-19 budget.

TAX LEVY $85,954,300, a decrease of 0.23 percent from the current $86,156,721. This is within the district's 3.48 percent tax-cap limit, so a simple majority vote is required for approval. 

TEACHER PAY / PROGRAMS Includes only a step increase of 1.05 percent; teachers continue to work under an expired contract. According to the district's website, the proposed budget expands BOCES vocational programs; includes Chromebooks for students; and supports purchase of a Houghton Mifflin math program for kindergarten through fifth grade, with related training and development of teachers.

PROPOSITIONS

Proposition 3 authorizes the school board to transfer a maximum $4 million in unreserved funds to the capital reserve fund, to be used for districtwide security improvements; renovation and upgrades of the Lawrence High School sports complex; and a variety of work at Broadway Campus, including corridor renovation, locker replacement, classroom renovations and door and hardware replacements. The work also includes improvements to HVAC systems at the high school and Broadway Campus. Approval of the proposition will not affect the tax levy.

Proposition 4 authorizes the school board to transfer a maximum $5 million in unreserved funds to the capital reserve fund, to be used for renovation of the Broadway Campus athletic facility; library renovation and window replacement at the high school; renovations of the Broadway Campus cafeteria; and improvements to HVAC systems at the high school and Broadway Campus. Approval of the proposition will not affect the tax levy.

Proposition 5 authorizes the school board to transfer $15 million in unreserved funds and undesignated capital to the capital reserve fund for Federal Emergency Management Authority projects and other improvements. Approval of the proposition will not affect the tax levy.

WHEN | WHERE

7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Lawrence Primary School #2, Lawrence Middle School, Lawrence High School and at Atlantic Beach Village Hall. www.lawrence.org

CANDIDATES

Incumbent Tova Plaut and Asher Matathias are vying for one position, elected by seat. Incumbents Michael Hatten and David Sussman are running unopposed. Terms are three years.

Tova Plaut

BACKGROUND Plaut, 49, is an educational coordinator for an early childhood center in Queens. She earned a bachelor's degree in community and human services from SUNY Empire State College and a master’s degree in education from Mercy College, and holds certifications in child development and administration. She ran unsuccessfully in 2015 for Nassau County legislator on the Democratic, Working Families and Women’s Equality lines. Her five children do not and did not attend district schools. She first was elected to the school board in 2013.

KEY ISSUE "I’d like to continue the progress we’ve made in offering our students additional learning opportunities such as our vocational programs, our AP and gifted programs, as well as ensuring every student has a path to graduation."

Asher Matathias

BACKGROUND Matathias, 75, has lived in the district for 43 years. He is an assistant professor of political science at St. John's University and a retired New York City public high school teacher. He has a bachelor's degree in political science from LIU Brooklyn and a master's degree in political science from The New School for Social Research, now New School University, in Manhattan. Since 1983, Matathias has been president of Long Island B'nai B'rith Lodge #1353. His three children attended district schools. He has run multiple times for the school board.

KEY ISSUE “Teachers have been demoralized after eight years without a contract, and the vitality of the district is sapped,” he said, questioning the effect of a board with few members who have sent their children to public schools. Urging more openness in policymaking, he said, “We have an immigrant and lower-income population that I feel is not fully engaged or fully served, and if we need to raise taxes to improve their achievement outcomes, it’s for our district’s long-term benefit."

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