7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Gardiners Avenue Elementary School, East Broadway Elementary School, Division Avenue High School and Levittown Memorial Education Center.
The district proposes a budget of $205,449,470 for 2016-17, a 1.8 percent increase over the current $201,817,794. The tax levy would rise by 0.84 percent, from $133,614,141 to $134,739,685.
This increase is equal to the district’s tax-cap limit, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget.
The district said it could not provide the dollar amount of school taxes on the average single-family house because final assessment figures were not available from Nassau County.
The proposed budget includes a 1.4 percent average salary increase for teachers. One full-time and one part-time teacher would be hired for new courses in social studies, American Sign Language, family and consumer science and AP Capstone English.
A proposition asks voters to approve spending $4 million from a capital-reserve fund for renovations, including electrical upgrades, and alterations to district buildings. There would be no effect on the tax levy, according to the district.
- District website:
Incumbents Peggy Marenghi and James Moran and candidates Christina Lang, Thomas Lonergan, Ed Powers and Maria Marciano-Xenios are running for three at-large seats. Lonergan, Marciano-Xenios and Powers are running as a slate, and Lang, Marenghi and Moran are running as a slate. The two highest vote-getters will receive three-year terms, while the third highest vote-getter will receive a two-year term because of a vacancy on the board.
BACKGROUND: Lonergan, 45, has lived in the district for 13 years. He works as a superintendent for the New York City Department of Sanitation. He graduated from West Hempstead High School. He served in the U.S. Navy, on active duty from 1989 to 1991, and in the reserves from 1991 to 1997. Lonergan’s three children attend district schools. He is a board member of Levittown Central Baseball, a youth league, and a coordinator and coach for Catholic Youth Organization basketball at St. Bernard’s R.C. Church in Levittown. He also coaches a youth flag football team.
ISSUES: Lonergan said he is concerned that the school board uses reserve funds to balance the budget. “The fund will be depleted shortly,” he said. Lonergan that the district needs to obtain more state aid. He said that, if elected, he would bring attention to the “heroin and opioid problem growing in Long Island.” He said he would spread awareness of the opioid problem by working with a task force made up of the school district, sports leagues, local fraternal organizations and businesses. Lonergan said he supports the right of students to “opt out” of state standardized testing, which he called “excessive testing for children.”
BACKGROUND: Lang, 36, has lived in the district for 12 years. She is a Spanish teacher at Oceanside High School and is a certified English as a New Learner teacher. Lang has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from St. Peter’s College in Jersey City, New Jersey, a master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Queens College, and a master’s degree in administration and educational leadership from Adelphi University. Her three children attend a district school.
ISSUES: Lang said that her major concern as a mother of young children is “excessive standardized testing.” She is a proponent of opting out of Common Core standardized testing. Lang said, “I love Levittown and want to be a part of the great things going on here, and I want to ensure that they continue.” She said that in the schools, “I want the focus to be on science and social studies as well as English language arts and math.” She added, “I want all students to have access to a well-rounded education.”
BACKGROUND: Marenghi, 61, is the principal of the New Hyde Park Road School. She was elected to the Levittown school board in 2010 and has been board president for two years. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from SUNY Old Westbury, and a master’s degree in mental health counseling from Hofstra University. She also has certification as a school district administrator and a school building administrator from the College of New Rochelle. Marenghi has four children, one of whom attended a district school; the others attended a private school.
ISSUES: Marenghi said the main issue facing the district is “keeping all of our programs and teachers while staying within the requirements of the tax cap.” Marenghi said that under her leadership the school board has looked “at class size and where we can cut back, at the effectiveness of programs and how many students are in each program.”
BACKGROUND: Marciano-Xenios, 52, is a lifelong district resident. She attended Nassau Community College. Marciano-Xenios is a senior account analyst for Principal Management in Freeport. She serves as the president of the Salk-MacArthur Parent Teacher Student Association. She has been a member of the Gardiners Avenue School PTA since 2008 and served as president from 2012 to 2014. Her two children attend district schools.
ISSUES: Marciano-Xenios said, “I feel that the most important issue facing, not just my district but all districts, is the 2 percent tax cap.” The tax cap “forces our district to present a budget that is unrealistic in which they must use reserve funds,” she said. “Once our reserves are gone, there is no place to get additional funds.” She advocated lobbying Albany to “fight for our fair share of state aid. For every dollar sent to the state we are only getting back pennies on the dollar. I would like to bring all the districts on Long Island together and fight for what we deserve.”
BACKGROUND: Moran, 57, has lived in Levittown for 52 years. He graduated from MacArthur High School and retired last year from the Town of Hempstead Parks Department. He is a part-time relief worker for the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management in Bethpage. He has two grown children who attended district schools. Moran served on the Levittown school board for four three-year terms and left the board for personal reasons in 2008. He was re-elected in 2010. Moran serves as an assistant commissioner of the Levittown Red Devils football and is a Little League umpire.
ISSUES: Moran said that Common Core needs to be reassessed at the state level. “I think the state should ask for more community and teacher involvement in creating the standardized tests,” he said. Moran continued, “The tests are outdated and they are putting a lot of pressure on the kids, who aren’t even enjoying going to school anymore.” He pointed to his experience on the board, saying “I have been on the board for 20 years and I have done what I said I would do.”
BACKGROUND: Powers, 46, is vice president of financial planning for Cablevision in Bethpage. (Cablevision is the owner of Newsday.) Powers has lived in Levittown for 24 years. He served on the Levittown school board from 2009 to 2015, and was the board’s vice-president from 2014 until 2015. Powers has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Hofstra University. Powers is a member of the Wisdom Lane Middle School PTA and his two children attend district schools.
ISSUES: Powers said that state aid for the district is “significantly short of where it should be.” He said that shortage puts “pressure on the district to maintain programs.” He said, “My experience is in finance, and as I did in the past on the board, I will scrutinize every line in the budget to assure efficient spending … to maintain the best educational experience for the students.” Powers faulted “an overreliance on testing” in the schools and said that, if elected, he would work with board members “to continue to reduce the use and impact of these exams and push the district to advise parents of the choices they have.”