7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Central Administration.
The district proposes a $63,778,362 budget for 2015-16, a 4.68 percent increase from the current $60,925,000. The local tax levy would increase 1.99 percent, from $20,834,580 to $21,249,956.
This increase equals the state's tax-cap limit of 1.99 percent, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget. Because of the way Babylon Town does the tax assessment, there was no estimate for the average impact on school taxes for a single-family home, district officials said.
The budget, which takes roughly $1 million from its reserves, includes 15 new teachers for increased enrollment and to reduce class sizes. It will replace retiring teachers with bilingual teachers to meet a growing population of Spanish-language students.
Under the contract, teachers will get an average salary increase of 1.5 percent. The district also is hiring its first three social workers.
The three incumbents up for re-election are running as a team against three challengers, who also are running as a team. Incumbent Charlie Reed is being challenged by Moneik Hatcher. Incumbent Shirley Baker is being challenged by Joval Nance. Incumbent Thomas Tolliver is being challenged by Lynelle Jarmond. Terms are three years.
BACKGROUND: Reed, 67, is a retired draftsman for KeySpan Energy and National Grid on property surveys. He has lived in the district for 51 years. He received an associate degree from Farmingdale State College in 1978. He has three children who graduated from the Wyandanch district. He is vice chair of the Wyandanch Community Development Corporation, which helps oversee the Wyandanch Rising development. He was first elected to the school board in 1987 and served for 12 years before he was re-elected three years ago.
ISSUES: Reed said the district is struggling to pay for costs associated with an influx of foreign-born students, putting a strain on school resources. "Like always, there's not enough money," he said. "We really don't have all the money to properly educate our kids." He said the district is pressing representatives for additional aid. Reed said school performance has improved under new Superintendent Mary Jones, who came in two years ago. "We're turning the corner," he said.
BACKGROUND: Hatcher, 39, is a volunteer at a nursing and rehabilitation center. She has lived in the district for 28 years. She received a high school diploma from the Long Island Educational Opportunity Center in 1997. She is involved with Wyandanch for Change and Wyandanch Jr. Warriors Football Moms. She has three children attending elementary school in the district. This is her first school board election.
ISSUES: She wants to expand after-school programs. "It would give students more opportunities to connect with teachers at the school," she said. She would also like to include after-school tutoring and bring back the school band. She's still looking into how that could be paid for.
BACKGROUND: Baker, 69, has lived in the district for 47 years and served on the school board since 2003. She has three grown children who graduated from Wyandanch High School. She received her associate degree and certification in counseling from Touro College in Huntington in 1992. A retired state worker, she served in a number of executive positions with Local 430 CSEA. She is a member of the Long Island Association of Black Trade Unionists. Her daughter and sister work as secretaries in the district, while her granddaughter is monitor.
ISSUES: Baker said the district faces continued space constraints. Previous boards voted down a proposal to build a new school. But, she said, the district is dependent on state aid. She said the district needs to improve low performance, and said she supports Common Core to do that, despite the controversy. "I feel that it's a good thing," she said. "It's the basics. I don't see how you get around it."
BACKGROUND: Nance, 37, was born and raised in Wyandanch. She retired from the U.S. Navy in January, where she left as a petty officer first class. Her mother is a retired teacher. She graduated from Mount St. Mary's University in Maryland in 1999 with a bachelor's degree. She is active in the group Wyandanch for Change. This is her first school board run.
ISSUES: Accountability is needed in the district, she said. "Ensuring that the people working for the district are doing what they're supposed to be doing," she said. She declined to be more specific. She said the district needs to have a stronger curriculum so that students can be ready for college or military service. "They have to have a career path and be able to compete with students from all other school districts," she said.
BACKGROUND: Tolliver, 59, a pastor, is president of the school board. He has lived in the district for 20 years. He graduated from Amityville High School in 1973, received a bachelor's degree in 2005 in pastoral ministry from Aenon Bible College, an Indiana-based correspondence school and a doctorate in theology from a correspondence school in 2013. He is pastor of In the Word Ministries, West Babylon. His daughter is an elementary school teacher in the district. He previously served on the board from 2006 to 2009.
ISSUES: Tolliver said the district is struggling to pay to educate the more than 100 foreign-born students who have been added to the school district. "It's a very big challenge," he said. He said the school district is making improvements, including with stabilized test scores. "We're hoping to maintain a steadiness in the board of trustees," he said. "Every time there's a new board, there's a setback for this district."
BACKGROUND: Jarmond, 33, is a lifelong resident of Wyandanch. She is an admissions coordinator at a culinary school. She graduated from Wyandanch in 1999, and in 2005 received an associate degree from the Katharine Gibbs School in Melville. She's part of a parent leadership program and is active with her son's football teams. She has a second-grader and 10th-grader in the district.
ISSUES: She said she doesn't see as many programs and classes at the high school level as when she went to Wyandanch. That includes the marching band and classes like home economics and shop class. She said the district needs more unity. To do that, she'd like to get the community more involved through an outreach program of mailers and knocking on doors to bring community members to the school board meetings.