TODAY'S PAPER
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Long IslandEducation

Valley Stream 30 school district

VOTING

6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Clear Stream Avenue School, Forest Road School and Shaw Avenue School.

THE BUDGET

The district proposes a $34,416,060 budget for 2016-2017, a 1.07 percent increase from the current $34,050,116. The tax levy would decrease by 11.94 percent, from $26,181,183 to $23,054,030.

The levy decrease is beneath the district’s -10.39 percent tax cap, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget.

The district did not provide the dollar amount of school tax on an average single-family home because it said it did not have the necessary assessment information from the county.

The proposed budget includes raises for teachers totaling about 1.7 percent. There would be no additions or reductions to teachers, staff or programs.

A proposition asks voters to consider establishing a capital-reserve fund not to exceed $5 million over a five-year period to address issues raised in its 2015 building-condition survey. There would be no effect on the tax levy, according to the district.

  • District website:

valleystream30.com

THE CANDIDATES

There are two by-seat positions open. Incumbent Kenneth Cummings is being challenged by Hendrick Colbert for a five-year term, while Ingrid Wyllie is running unopposed to fill the remaining two years of a seat vacated last year.

Kenneth Cummings

BACKGROUND: Cummings, 58, an associate director for human resources, has lived in the district for 27 years and has been on the school board since 2005, where he serves on the finance committee. He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Queens College. Cummings is a past school board president and past member of the Valley Stream Central High School District board. He also is a trustee at St. Boniface Roman Catholic Church in Elmont. Cummings has four daughters who attended district schools.

ISSUES: As schools face pressures from rising property taxes and the need to provide “the best opportunities for all of our students,” Cummings said school board members must work with state leaders to get increased state aid to keep school budgets within the tax cap. “I will continue to be open to doing things differently to save money so that our students get the most for their school experience,” Cummings said.

Hendrick Colbert

BACKGROUND: Colbert, 52, has lived in the district for 19 years and is a seventh- and eighth-grade math teacher 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. He has coached youth sports in Valley Stream, including soccer, and is a member of the Knights of Columbus and of the Valley Stream Chamber of Commerce. His son attended district schools.

ISSUES: Colbert said he wants to ensure that students in the district are “college and career ready” when they graduate, with an emphasis on science, technology engineering and math. “My goals are to provide an even stronger voice and representation of community parents,” said Colbert, who also wants to “close the achievement gap” between student groups.

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