6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Minnesauke Elementary School, Nassakeag Elementary School, Setauket Elementary School, R.C. Murphy Junior High School and Ward Melville High School.
The district proposes a $198,779,935 budget for 2016-17, an increase of 4.85 percent over the current $189,589,217. The tax levy would rise by 2.3 percent, from $143,527,194 to $146,831,010.
This increase is within the district’s tax-cap limit of 2.41 percent, so a simple majority would be required to approve the budget.
School taxes on the average single-family home would increase by 2.3 percent, from $10,645 to $10,889.
The proposed budget includes step increases of 2.25 percent for teachers. It would add the equivalent of 6.8 full-time teachers and would add math support services, increase business electives, American Sign Language, computer science classes and writing centers. The district does not plan to reduce teachers or staff.
A proposition asks voters to approve expanding bus service to students who live closer to the district. The additional service would cost $160,000 and would raise taxes by 0.01 percent, according to the district.
- District website:
Incumbent Jonathan Kornreich and candidates Andrea Fusco-Winslow and Angelique Ragolia are running for two at-large seats. Kornreich and Ragolia are running as a team. Terms are three years.
BACKGROUND: Kornreich, 46, works in investment management and has served on the school board since 2008. He has two daughters who attend district schools. Kornreich has a bachelor’s degree in English from University at Albany. He is vice president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Suffolk County and president of the Three Village Civic Association.
ISSUES: Kornreich said the school board has restored programs and services that had been cut from previous budgets. The proposed budget is below the state tax cap and “academically responsible,” he said. “We did as many parents would do, and that is spend money on the kids.” Kornreich said he would use his business experience to help develop academic programs. “I see the kind of skills that are desired by employers and the entrepreneurial skills that are needed by people who start their own businesses,” he said. “Our school’s stated mission is to help prepare our students for productive lives.”
BACKGROUND: Fusco-Winslow, 46, is a physician and has two children attending district schools. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology neurosciences from Duke University, a master’s degree in medical sciences from Boston University and a medical degree from St. George’s Medical School. She is a member of the American Board of Anesthesiology and a diplomat with the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists.
ISSUES: Fusco-Winslow said she opposes Common Core testing and has opted her own children out of those tests. “I think it is taking away the art of education,” she said, adding the tests “are inappropriate for their age and stressful.” She said school districts should create tests, not state officials, and money for state tests should be used for more teachers, arts and new technology. She wants to restore sports and arts programs that were trimmed during cost-cutting. Fusco-Winslow said a $6 million gap-elimination payment from the state should be used to bring the tax increase down to 1.5 percent, “or maybe nothing.”
BACKGROUND: Ragolia, 46, is an independent living skills trainer. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications arts and sciences and speech language pathology from Queens College. Her two children attend district schools. She has been president, vice president and treasurer of the Minnesauke PTA, president and vice president of Three Village Council of PTAs and a catechist at St. James Roman Catholic Church.
ISSUES: Ragolia said she is running because she supports the district and wants it to maintain strong programs. “I see this year’s budget and I see how they run the district and I see nothing but positives,” she said. She said she is happy the district is bringing back programs and restoring staff and coaches that had been trimmed to cut costs. She praised the proposed budget for remaining within the state tax cap, while including a separate proposition to increase busing. “You can’t be much more fiscally responsible than that,” she said.