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School budgets: Revotes Tuesday in 9 districts

Covert Avenue School in Elmont, where residents are

Covert Avenue School in Elmont, where residents are revoting today on the proposed school budget. (June 19, 2012) Credit: Howard Schnapp

It's decision day on budgets in nine Long Island school districts.

Voters today will give thumbs-up or -down to reoffered spending plans, after district residents rejected initial budgets offered in mid-May. A second defeat would mean freezing a district's tax levy at the current level, which school officials have said could lead to staffing cuts and trims in student programs and services.

Revotes are being held in two districts in Nassau County -- Elmont and Floral Park-Bellerose -- and seven in Suffolk County -- Center Moriches, Comsewogue, East Islip, Mount Sinai, Oysterponds, Three Village and Tuckahoe.

Of the nine districts, seven tried the first time around to exceed the state's new tax-cap limit, which requires approval by a 60 percent supermajority. Six of those have lowered their proposed budgets so that spending plans now fall within their respective district caps and a simple majority vote is needed for passage.

Only Elmont, an elementary-only district on the Nassau-Queens border, still is seeking to pierce its cap and must have its revised budget passed by 60 percent of those voting Tuesday.

Oysterponds and Tuckahoe, both small districts on the East End, put up budgets in the May 15 vote that adhered to caps but were rejected anyway. Oysterponds is reoffering the same budget but has dropped a controversial plan to give students a choice of high schools. Tuckahoe has trimmed its spending plan.

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