TODAY'S PAPER
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Long IslandEducation

Valley Stream 30 

BUDGET

SPENDING $36,866,500, a 3.89 percent increase from the current $35,484,725.

TAX LEVY 0.18 percent increase, from $22,238,176 to $22,277,748. This is equal to the district’s 0.18 percent tax-cap limit, so a simple majority vote is required for approval.

TEACHER PAY / PROGRAMS Includes a step increase of about 2.24 percent, with contract expiring June 30. The proposed budget includes funding for an additional assistant principal.

PROPOSITIONS

Proposition 2 seeks authorization to use $750,000 in capital reserve funds for improvements such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning, sidewalks, lighting, exterior repainting and new instruction space. Approval of the proposition will not affect the tax levy. 

WHEN | WHERE

6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Clear Stream Avenue, Forest Road and Shaw Avenue schools. www.valleystream30.com

CANDIDATES

Hendrick Colbert, Audra Hamlett and Kelly Ureña are vying for one position, elected by seat. Incumbent Carolyn Torres is not seeking re-election. The term is five years.

Hendrick Colbert

BACKGROUND Colbert, 55, has lived in the district for 21 years and is a teacher of seventh- and eighth-grade math in the Hempstead district. He has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the City College of New York and a master of business administration from Pace University. Colbert has coached youth sports in Valley Stream, including soccer, and also has tutored children. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Valley Stream Chamber of Commerce and has served as a volunteer firefighter. His son attended district schools.

KEY ISSUE Ensuring students are college- and career-ready. "My goal is to provide an even stronger voice and representation of community families. I also want to close the achievement gap that exists among student groups. As a trustee, I pledge to work to prepare our children for 21st-century careers through rigorous educational programs. I’ll endeavor to reinforce school safety and maintain fiscal responsibility while promoting innovative programs to provide our children with outstanding educational experiences."

Audra Hamlett

BACKGROUND Hamlett, 51, is a 12-year resident of the district. She is an account clerk in the purchasing department of the Village of Valley Stream. Hamlett has a bachelor's degree in international business from SUNY Plattsburgh and an associate degree in accounting from LaGuardia Community College. She has served as treasurer of the Boy Scouts of America-Valley Stream Cub Scouts Pack 109 and is a co-founder of the Organization of Women of Ethnicity, a student group at SUNY Plattsburgh. She has a stepson in the sixth grade at Forest Road School.

KEY ISSUE Greater use of technology for learning and communicating. "Some key issues I would like to address are finding effective ways to incorporate more use of technology, keeping costs down while maintaining quality, which is a bigger priority than ever before, and also ensuring students in our school district are indeed residents of our district. Out-of-district 'illegally' enrolled students whom are receiving services should not be allowed. It is not fair to the residents who live within the district and are paying taxes here."

Kelly Ureña 

BACKGROUND Ureña, 39, a six-year resident of the district, is a social worker for the Wyandanch school district. She has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice administration and planning from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan and a master's degree in social work from Adelphi University. Ureña has a son in the second grade at Shaw Avenue School.

KEY ISSUE Community and family engagement. "One of the priorities I would focus on as trustee would be to continue strengthening community and family engagement by inviting families and community stakeholders to form partnerships with the district to enhance our academic, social-emotional learning (SEL) and citizenship curricula."
 

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