East Meadow School District residents can’t lose when they go to the polls on Tuesday. There they will decide whether to support the district’s proposed 2014-15 budget of $191.1 million — a 1.53 percent increase over the current spending plan.
Supporting the budget is a no-brainer. When residents criticize the district, it is usually for its lack of full-day kindergarten or its approach to Common Core testing. And even those two complaints come from a small, though vocal, minority. Rarely is there is a complaint about how the district operates financially — and that’s no accident.
Many school districts across Nassau County have been forced to push their tax levies to the limit to preserve programs and staff. But East Meadow school officials are so financially prudent that they rarely come close to piercing the cap, while managing to keep intact the district’s flourishing music, athletics, Intel Science and robotics programs. The tax levy increase for this year’s budget could have been as high as 5.24 percent — but it ended up being less than half that, 2.49 percent. For next year’s spending plan, facing greater fiscal constraints, the district set the tax levy increase at 1.89 percent, even though it could have gone as high as 2.24 percent.
It’s clear that district officials keep the taxpayers’ wallets in mind, and for that, residents should support the budget. Further proof? The district is earmarking a smaller portion of its spending — just 2.86 percent — to administrative salaries than any other district in the county.
We urge a “yes” vote on this budget.
Re-elect Fanelli to school board
Voters will choose between two solid candidates for one open seat on the Board of Education. Corey Fanelli, a four-year incumbent, has been an impressive asset to the board. It’s easy to harp on his youth — he’s just 24 — but at no point since he was first elected, at age 20, has he shown signs that he isn’t up to the job, and he has only gained wisdom and insight since then.