As Rockville Centre School District administrators and the Board of Education strive to maintain the number and quality of programs and improve the district’s buildings and students’ mental health, it is especially important for voters to support the 2019-20 school budget.
Staying just below the state’s tax-levy cap was difficult, administrators noted, but we believe this year’s $120 million spending plan will serve students well in the classroom, a priority that Board of Education members have echoed throughout the budget process.
Board members specifically pushed for increased mental health resources for elementary school students, and administrators responded by allocating $100,000 for a guidance counselor to serve those students. Though slightly cutting the frequency of a Foreign Language in the Elementary Schools, or FLES, program — in part to improve scheduling — the district vowed to monitor the program and ensure that it remains effective.
The district is also adding staff for South Side High School’s reinstated Pathways program, also known as CORE II, for students with severe learning disabilities, and directing resources toward a modified version of International Baccalaureate 11th-grade courses, in which Regents and I.B. students can be co-enrolled.
Despite a bevy of improvements needed to Rockville Centre’s school buildings, we believe administrators have been responsible in selecting the ones needed to be funded most, namely the replacement of a wall at South Side Middle School, which can present a danger if not fixed. It is expected to cost the district about $600,000. District officials also plan to do extensive work to improve and replace floors throughout the buildings, and repair aging playgrounds.
Board of Education President John O’Shea, who has served on the board since 2010, is running uncontested, but we encourage residents to show him their support by voting for him.
We also encourage voters to say yes to the library’s $3.6 million 2019-20 budget. The spending plan has a 2.59 percent tax-levy increase. We think the facility has continued to show a dedication to meeting the needs of people looking for new programs and services, as well as residents returning for those they have grown accustomed to and enjoy.
Though no one is running against Library Board candidates Susanne Morahan and Michael Ludwig, we ask residents to vote for them, as the gesture would show what we believe, which is that they are a good fit to improve the library.