TODAY'S PAPER
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Long IslandEducation

Malverne school district

VOTING

7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Howard T. Herber Middle School

THE BUDGET

The district proposes a $57,123,216 school budget for 2018-19, a 2.92 percent increase from the current $55,503,162. The tax levy would increase 2.75 percent, from $41,913,176 to $43,067,052.

This increase is within the district’s tax-cap limit of 2.79 percent, so a simple majority will be required to approve the budget.

The dollar amount of the school tax paid on the average single-family house under the proposed budget could not be determined because final assessment figures were not available.

The proposed school budget includes estimated raises for teachers subject to contract negotiations. The equivalent of 2.1 teacher positions would be eliminated.

Voters will also decide two propositions. One authorizes spending $1.6 million in capital reserve funds for districtwide field work and site improvements, installing air-conditioning in school cafeterias and purchasing a 66-seat school bus. The other proposition authorizes a $600,000 expenditure to purchase property to be used for parking at the Davison Avenue Intermediate School.

District website:

malverne.k12.ny.us

THE CANDIDATES

Laura Avvinti and Martine Santos are running for the seat currently held by Marguerite O’Connor, who is not seeking reelection. Terms are four years.

Laura Avvinti

BACKGROUND: Avvinti, 41, has lived in the district for 16 years. Avvinti works as a preschool teacher assistant at Grace Playschool in Lynbrook. Avvinti was born in London and graduated from the Bournemouth School for Girls in England. She received a bachelor of science degree in oceanography from Plymouth University in Devon, England. Avvinti moved to Long Island in 2001 after she married an American citizen, and is a naturalized U.S. citizen. Avvinti is president of the Howard T. Herber Middle School PTA. She served from 2009 to 2013 as PTA president at Davison Avenue Intermediate School and from 2013 to 2014 as PTA secretary at Maurice W. Downing Elementary School. Avvinti has two children attending district public schools. She serves on Superintendent James Hunderfund’s advisory committee. This is her first run for the school board.

ISSUES: Avvinti said that running for the school board is her “next best step” after volunteering for Malverne schools for the last 10 years. “I’d like to be able to do more,” Avvinti said, “to help all of the schools instead of just the ones my children attend.” Avvinti said that if elected she would “maintain and further support the district’s fiscally responsible record of staying within the tax cap while working to prevent tax increases.” Avvinti said she would “communicate with accountability and transparency with fellow board members, administration and community members regarding our district’s progress, goals and challenges.”

Martine Santos

BACKGROUND: Santos, 51, has lived in the district for 16 years. Santos is director of the English Language Learners program in the New York City school system chancellor’s office. She previously taught English, Spanish and mathematics and was a dean and an assistant principal at Junior High School 145 in the South Bronx. Santos received a bachelor of science degree in accounting and economics, a master of science degree in bilingual education and early childhood education, and a master of science in education, school supervision and administration, all from Queens College, CUNY, in Flushing, Queens. Santos has taught religious education for five years at Our Lady of Lourdes R.C. Church in Malverne. Santos has six children, three of whom attend district public schools, and two of whom are graduates of the Malverne school system. She is a member of the Malverne School District special education PTA and district Superintendent James Hunderfund’s Academic Committee. This is Santos’ first run for the school board.

ISSUES: Santos said that because of her 24 years of experience in education, “I have a lot to offer” the school board. Santos said that through her leadership roles in the New York City schools she has collaborated with “renowned researchers in the field of education . . . N>focusing on literacy for all students.” Santos continued, “I know that I am able to use my pedagogical experience to help my home district stay in the know and explore research-based curricula and educational resources in general to improve academic success for all students in the district.” She said, “I would like to see more done in the area of literacy and expanding the STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] experience to more students than those who are in honors classes.”

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