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Long IslandSuffolk

Islip school district


6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Islip High School.


The district proposes a $78,252,726 budget for 2015-16, a 4.51 percent increase from the current $74,872,351. The tax levy would rise 2.98 percent, from $53,891,236 to $55,497,195.

This increase falls within the state's tax-cap limit of 5.64 percent, so a simple majority is required to approve the budget. School taxes on the average single-family home would rise 2.96 percent, from $7,017.73 to $7,225.35.

The budget would include the reduction of four full-time staff members based on enrollment declines. It would fund the addition of two full-time special education teachers and two ESL teachers.

District website


Incumbent Brian Clock is running unopposed. Incumbent Thomas Leggio is being challenged by Matthew Clareen. And Mary Ann Coughlin is running for the seat of Mary Dennis, who is not seeking re-election. Terms are three years.

Thomas Leggio

BACKGROUND: Leggio, 63, is a fleet manager for Entenmann's bakery for 44 years and has lived in the district for 30 years. He is a graduate of Brentwood High School and he and his wife, Arlene, have three grown children who graduated from the district. He has served on the board since 2003. He is a member of the Islip Fire Department and a commissioner in the Islip Fire District. He is vice president of the Islip Town School Board Association and vice president of the Islip Board of Education. He serves as chairman of fire prevention for the Islip fire department and is a member of the Islip Community Council.

ISSUES: The most important issue facing the district, Leggio said, is providing the tools and programs to "give each and every student the education they deserve while trying not to pierce the 2 percent tax cap and not putting a strain" on taxpayers. He is critical of Common Core testing, saying that it was "very poorly implemented and very confusing to all." He would work to bring tax dollars back to Long Island by writing letters and lobbying elected officials to fight for the region's equal share.

Matthew Clareen

BACKGROUND: Clareen, 22, is a lifelong resident and graduate of the school district. He recently graduated from Dowling College with a bachelor of arts in social sciences and secondary education and will attend Stony Brook University to earn his master's in public policy. He is working to pay his student loans at St. Mary's Church in East Islip and as a research assistant in the history department at Dowling. He is a member of the Islip Board of Education's legislative committee and serves on the board of directors for the historical society of Islip hamlet. He has been an intern for Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and served on the student executive board while at Dowling. He is a youth leader at St. Mary's, and belongs to many school organizations within the district.

ISSUES: "Among the many issues facing school districts today is the lack of support, fiscally and publicly, from elected leaders in Albany," Clareen said. He would continue advocating for more adequate financial support in the release of Gap Elimination Adjustment Funds, of which $10 million is owed to Islip schools. He said he would work with the superintendent to create more career-oriented programs in the district for students who are not planning for higher education, ensuring all students have an opportunity for success after graduation. If elected, Clareen said he would work to maintain the highest quality of programs while the district remains responsible with taxpayer dollars. Additionally, he would look for ways to increase revenue for the district, such as allowing local outside groups to rent facilities after school hours. He said he is "hoping to bring a fresh, independent, diverse and open-minded perspective to the district."

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