6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Early Childhood Center.
The district proposes a $111,076,458 budget for 2015-16, a 0.26 percent increase from the current $110,785,649. The local tax levy would increase 0.96 percent, from $69,756,866 to $70,428,345. This is within the state's tax-cap limit of 2.3 percent, so a simple majority is required to approve the budget.
School taxes on the average single-family home would rise 0.96 percent, from $7,680 to $7,754. The budget funds a step increase of 2.4 percent for teachers but there are no contractual raises in the budget.
The district plans to cut 9.1 full-time employees and is adding staff in world languages, ESL, special education and art. The district also plans for smaller elementary and secondary school classes, additions in Advanced Placement courses, and in art programs. The budget also provides for restoring assistant varsity coaches for contact sports and maintaining all varsity, junior varsity, middle-school sports and activities, including restoring high school robotics.
Incumbent Philip Montuori Sr. is being challenged by Anthony Maccarino. Incumbent Louis F. Raffone is being challenged by Jessica Carney. Terms are three years.
Philip Montuori Sr.
BACKGROUND: Montuori, 67, is a retired Port Authority police officer who is a lifelong resident of the district. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Dowling College and has served on the board of education since 2013. He has served as the board's vice president and also served as treasurer of the East Islip Hockey Club and as a manager with the Little League of East Islip. He also serves on the district's nutrition committee and Special Education PTA.
ISSUES: He said he is concerned about the current fiscal situation. "I would like to be able to continue to keep our taxes low for our residents without taking any programs from our children," he said. He also was able to secure a $10,000 grant to help the district purchase a robot that offers a classroom connection for an East Islip student who is homebound.
BACKGROUND: Maccarino, 49, is a retired NYPD sergeant who has lived in the district for 25 years. He is a graduate of East Islip High School and has two children attending the local schools. He has also served as the East Islip Soccer Club director of fields.
ISSUES: He is concerned that East Islip schools are losing children and families to districts that offer more programs and sports. He said he would like to bring back and offer a "better and more advanced area of extracurricular activities for the students. The school district needs to continuously adapt to the needs of the students and that change is needed to stop the old way of just letting things go and not questioning it. I am for the kids, and their needs are what comes first."
Louis F. Raffone
BACKGROUND: Raffone, 71, is a school crossing guard who has lived in the district for 55 years. He has an associate degree from Queens Community College and graduated from Mechanics Institute in Manhattan, NRI School for Building Construction. He had a construction company for 27 years and was licensed in Queens, Long Island and Westchester. He has served as the program director for Hecksher Youth. He served on the board of education from 1992 to 1994 and from 2009 to present. He also is a member of the Suffolk County Citizens Police Academy and a past president.
ISSUES: He said finances, programs and contracts remain the top issues facing the district. "We are top-heavy with contractual agreements," he said. He said the district was able to restore some programs that were lost, including sports, and some honors and AP courses.
BACKGROUND: Carney, 45, an office manager, has lived in the district for more than 30 years. She holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Dowling College. She serves as a board member for the East Islip Athletic Booster Club and East Islip Youth Organization. She has four children who attend the local schools, one child who is graduating from the district in June. She is a graduate of East Islip High School and has worked to raise funds for several school-related programs.
ISSUES: Renegotiating district contracts to reflect the current economic condition and ensuring fairness to students and taxpayers are among her top goals for the district. She also would like to "put a stop to the revolving door in the superintendent's office and find the right person," she said. Carney also said, as a board member, she would request advance notice and involvement on items such as Payment In Lieu of Taxes agreements, zoning and land use under consideration by the Town of Islip and Suffolk County that would impact the district.