TODAY'S PAPER
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Long IslandEducation

Lawrence school district

VOTING

7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday at Lawrence Primary School at #2 School, Lawrence Middle School at Broadway Campus, Lawrence High School and Atlantic Beach Village Hall.

THE BUDGET

The district proposes a $102,449,281 budget for 2018-19, a 1.65 percent increase from the current $100,783,090. The tax levy would increase 0.66 percent, from $85,593,836 to $86,156,721.

This increase is equal to the district’s tax-cap limit of 0.66 percent, according to data supplied by the state comptroller’s office, so a simple majority will be required to approve the budget.

The district did not respond to questions regarding school taxes on the average one-family home in the district, if the proposed budget includes a contractual raise or step increases for teachers or if there are additions or reductions to student programs and services.

Voters will decide a proposition seeking authorization to transfer $4 million to the capital reserve fund to pay for construction, reconstruction, renovation and other upgrades to schools and other district buildings during the coming school year.

District website:

lawrence.org

THE CANDIDATES

Two positions, elected by seat, are on the ballot. Incumbent Heshy Blachorsky is being challenged by Asher Matathias. Incumbent Abel Feldhamer is running unopposed. Terms are three years.

Heshy Blachorsky

Blachorsky, who was elected to the board in May 2015, did not respond to requests for information or comment.

Asher Matathias

BACKGROUND: Matathias, 74, is an assistant professor of political science at St. John’s University and a retired New York City high school social studies teacher. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus and his master’s degree in political science at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan. A district resident for 42 years, he is president of B’nai Brith in the Five Towns and serves on the Sephardic Council of Overseers of Yeshiva University. All three of his daughters, now grown, are graduates of the district. He is a docent at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County in Glen Cove.

ISSUES: Matathias said the biggest issue facing the local schools is to retain the district’s high standards. “We want to make a not-so-good situation a little better and turn it around and make it even greater,” he said. Matathias said residents should be able to elect board members in at-large elections, not by seat. He also said there should be more outreach to the community, such as holding a “Meet the Candidates” night. He had high praise for the new superintendent, Anne Pederson. “I really think she can make a difference,” he said.

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