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School Budget Voter's Guide

Proposed $222 million budget goes before voters Tuesday; two incumbents are running unopposed for BOE.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday at as residents cast their votes on a proposed Half Hollow Hills school budget of $221,918,299 for next year.

The proposed budget represents a The local tax levy would rise 2.33 percent. While the baseline number of 2 percent has been used in describing the new tax levy law, this number relates to an allowable growth factor, which is one of eight different numbers used to define each school district’s cap. The 2.33 tax levy increase is the maximum allowable tax levy cap for Half Hollow Hills.

Despite the tax levy, the proposed budget is spared the severe instructional and program cuts that have inflicted several other Long Island districts. All school buildings will remain open and the district will continue to provide the same level of instruction as it has, Superintendent Kelly Fallon said.

However cuts do include 37 teaching positions, 14 of which are being , and 30 other staff members including 10 paraprofessionals, 10 monitors and six clerical workers. Teacher salaries will increase 3 percent and there is a step increase of about 2.46 percent.

Other cuts include the printing of a district calendar, the combined middle school musical, a variety of BOCES programs and elementary level student supplies. Additional reductions will be seen in the district’s extracurricular activity clubs, the athletic department and the purchasing of textbooks and district equipment. 

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The board of education agreed to . The estimated savings amounts to $1,260,000 between the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years. Included in the agreement is a stipulation that . 

School taxes paid on the average single-family home would increase 2.33 percent, from $9,854 to $10,084 in the Town of Huntington or from $5,736 to $5,870 in the Town of Babylon. The assessed value of the average single-family home is $5,500 in Huntington and $4,184 in Babylon.

Should voters defeat the proposed budget on May 15, the budget may be presented for one more vote prior to July. If the Board opts not to have a second vote, it can immediately adopt a contingency budget, which this year would force the district to operate with a zero-percent tax levy increase under the new tax cap law.

If a second proposed budget is defeated, the district must adopt at zero-percent by law. This would result in an additional 4 million in cuts.

Residents will also Frank Grimaldi and James Ptucha will be running unopposed for re-election of their open trustee seats. Grimaldi, has been a board trustee since 2009. Ptucha currently serves as vice president of the board and has been a trustee since 2006.

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