TODAY'S PAPER
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Long IslandEducation

Lindenhurst

VOTING

6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Albany Avenue, William Rall, Harding Avenue and Daniel Street elementary schools and Lindenhurst Middle School.

 

THE BUDGET

The district proposes a $155,974,566 budget for 2017-18, a 2.93 percent increase over the current $151,534,773. The tax levy would rise by 1.43 percent, from $94,867,892 to $96,227,213.

This increase is equal to the district’s tax-cap limit, so a simple majority will be needed to approve the budget.

School taxes on the average single-family home would rise by 1.61 percent, from $7,670.33 to $7,793.80.

Steps for teachers are frozen in the proposed budget, but teachers will receive a contractual $2,000 lump sum. The budget calls for a reduction of seven teachers and the addition of varsity fencing for the high school and an American Sign Language program for students in grades seven through 12. The district would also add Advanced Placement Spanish and AP Computer Science Principles.

 

 

THE CANDIDATES

There are three by-seat positions open. Michael DiGiuseppe and James Gallagher are running for one seat. Incumbents Valerie McKenna and Edward Murphy Jr. are running unopposed. Terms are three years.

Michael DiGiuseppe

BACKGROUND: DiGiuseppe, 45, is a senior master automotive technician. He has a bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University and has sons who attend district schools. His wife works part-time as a secretary in the district administration building. DiGiuseppe has been coach of Lindenhurst’s National Little League for 14 years and currently serves as director for the league. He also is a trustee for United Auto Workers Local 259 and has lived in the district for 19 years.

ISSUES: DiGiuseppe said he wants to be a parental advocate on the board. He said he wants to explore the opt-out movement, noting that he’s against Common Core testing. “Seeing what’s going on, no one’s happy with it,” he said. As an advocate of the “whole child” movement — which looks at a comprehensive approach to educating beyond high-pressure aspects of school such as testing — DiGiuseppe said he’d like to see more of that type of approach in the district.

James Gallagher

BACKGROUND: Gallagher, 57, is a retired NYPD officer. He has three adult children, one of whom attended district schools. His wife works as an applied behavior analysis aide at Daniel Street Elementary School. Gallagher has been with the Lindenhurst Fire Department for 36 years, serving as assistant chief, then chief from 2005 to 2013. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years, earning the rank of sergeant. He has lived in the district for 52 years.

ISSUES: Gallagher said he wants to be on the board to be an advocate for kids, parents and taxpayers. He said he would like the district to focus more on students with special needs, calling them “forgotten” and saying more programming for them should be done in-district. As such, he said he feels that Edward W. Bower Elementary School — which the district closed in 2011 due to declining enrollment — should be utilized for special-needs services. He said he is not against renting out the building, but “right now we’re not even breaking even” with the existing rentals. “The community doesn’t want to sell it, so they might as well use it for that,” he said.

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