7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Burns Avenue School, Dutch Lane School, East Street School, Fork Lane School, Lee Avenue School, Old Country Road School and Woodland School.
The district proposes a $130,113,135 budget for 2015-16, a 1.70 percent increase from the current $127,935,953. The local tax levy would increase 0.65 percent, from $101,806,169 to $102,472,655.
This increase is within the state's tax-cap limit of 0.65 percent, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget. District officials said the amount taxes would be raised on the average single-family home was not available, saying the final rate would be determined in October by the Nassau County Assessor's Office.
The proposed budget would not cut teaching or other staff positions. There would be 8.6 positions added, comprising existing staff and new hires, new elementary reading textbooks, a new financial literacy course and new English as a Second Language/bilingual mandated services.
Ballot propositions seek approval for capital reserve funds of $1,913,195 for building improvements and $292,199 in capital reserve funds for technology, both at no cost to the taxpayer; and $50,000 for Gregory Museum educational programs. Officials said the museum funds would have an additional cost to taxpayers but that the amount had not yet been determined.
Incumbent Phil Heckler is being challenged by Angela Kobetitsch. Incumbent Brenda Judson is running unopposed. Terms are three years.
BACKGROUND: Heckler, 67, is a retired engineer who holds a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Missouri. He has been a trustee on the school board since 2012 and president since 2013. He has lived in the district for 40 years and is a member of the Hicksville Downtown Revitalization Committee and the Hicksville Gardens Civic Association. His two daughters are graduates of Hicksville High School.
ISSUES: Heckler said the most important issue facing the district is the 2 percent tax cap. "The 2 percent tax cap, in my opinion, will remain in effect for several years and, unfortunately, the legislature has not provided the mandate relief that was promised to go hand in hand with the cap," he said. "Significant legacy costs remain that exceed the 2 percent cap." To stay within the cap without cutting educational services will require "innovative solutions" and the "repurposing of existing resources," he said. "For example, the budget for 2015-16 includes expanded in-district special-education programs. It is our hope that this will provide a better educational experience for affected children. They will have daily exposure to the general-population students and district costs will be reduced." He recommended an ad hoc efficiency committee that would come up with similar ideas.
Angela KobetitschBACKGROUND: Kobetitsch, 54, is a retired NYPD captain-commanding officer. She earned a bachelor of science degree in administration and planning from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and has lived in the district for 16 years. She has a daughter in the seventh grade at Hicksville Middle School and another in the 10th grade at Hicksville High School. This is her first run for the board.
ISSUES: Kobetitsch said the main issue facing the board is the "rushed implementation" of the Common Core standards that she said are not developmentally appropriate at all grade levels. "This is causing stress in the students, parents and educators," she said. "It is causing the students to disengage due to the overemphasis on test preparation. We need to inform, educate and get the community involved at the district and state level."