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School vote: 14 teachers on the line in Hicksville

“Vote Yes” signs were staked into front lawns surrounding Hicksville schools Tuesday, and voters who came and went from polling places late in the afternoon seemed to share the sentiment.

The proposed Hicksville Public Schools budget of roughly $117 million is a 2.63 increase from 2010-11, while the bump in the tax levy is 3.25 percent.

The budget calls for cutting 14 teaching positions.

“If these budgets don’t pass, the first things taken away are the things that benefit the kids,” said Norma Herbst, a 27-year Hicksville resident with two grown children, explaining her “yes” vote.

She said the way to bring positive change in school districts is by being a frequent presence at board meetings, not simply taking a stand at budget polls.

Karen Warner, another longtime resident, agreed.

“The alternative is ridiculous,” she said in explaining her “yes” vote. “You really don’t have an option.”

Though she doesn’t have children, Warner said she doesn’t want to see parents face the more-severe cuts that often come when a budget is rejected. She called the proposed tax increase incremental.

“You have to work at a higher level,” she said of attempts to gain tax relief.

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