Herald Editorial

Support the Lawrence school budget

Posted

The proposed 2019-20 Lawrence School District budget of $102,449,281 is exactly the same amount as the current spending plan, and includes a tax-levy decrease of 0.23 percent.

If approved, the budget would support a new cutting-edge math program for kindergarten through fifth grade that would necessitate professional development and training for teachers; a summer elementary enrichment program; and an expansion of the BOCES vocational program.

Judiciously applying capital project money and funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the district plans to make several substantial improvements to school buildings, ranging from sports facility upgrades to the installation of new heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to security enhancements.

We urge voters to approve the budget and propositions 3, 4 and 5 on Tuesday.

Elect Plaut trustee

Board of Education Trustee Tova Plaut is being challenged by Asher Matathias. It is Matahias’s sixth consecutive year of running for the board. Plaut, the director of a private nursery school, has a strong educational background. As a board member, she has focused on improving student performance, upgrading vocational programs and spending taxpayers’ money.

Matathias regularly attends school board meetings, and has a solid grasp of the issues. We suggest that the district consider his proposal for at-large elections instead of challengers choosing their opponents.

Longtime Trustee Dr. David Sussman and Michael Hatten are also running for three-year terms. Hatten is a professional educator, and Sussman’s institutional knowledge is greatly beneficial. We urge the board to agree to a new contract with the Lawrence Teachers Association and to consider a tax exemption for military veterans.

The Herald endorses the candidacies of Hatten, Plaut and Sussman.

Oliner for library trustee

Peninsula Public Library officials have proposed a $3.05 million budget that is financially sound.

Thirty-year PPL Trustee Joseph Fuller is being challenged by Reva Oliner for a five-year term. Fuller has served in every board capacity, and has helped create solid budgets.

While Fuller said he would continue fighting for a library the community deserves, in his time on the board, he and his colleagues have been unable to find a more suitable home for the library, while nearly every other neighboring library has made significant improvements. We thank Fuller for his longtime service.

Oliner, a highly educated, longtime Lawrence resident, believes that a fresh outlook is needed on what is considered the smallest library in Nassau County, whether the challenge is looking for new sites to enhancing the existing structure.

As a PPL user, Oliner describes Library Director Carolynn Matulewicz as “wonderful” and says the existing programs are excellent for older patrons, but she wants to improve programming for younger users — toddler to teenagers.

Both the library’s budget and Oliner deserve voters’ support.