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High school cuts up for debate this Tuesday

A big turnout is expected at this Tuesday’s Valley Stream Central High School District Board of Education meeting where residents can voice their comments and questions regarding the district’s proposed spending cuts, specifically the proposed changes to non-public school transportation.

The board held its monthly committee meeting on March 5 to discuss the proposed cuts of about $2.65 million with dozens of residents on hand, many of whom with children who attend private schools. All committee meetings are open to the public, but residents are not permitted to speak until the business meetings the following week.

In February, the board considered a recommendation by Superintendent Dr. Bill Heidenreich to provide MTA MetroCards instead of school buses to Valley Stream residents who attend three additional non-public schools: Chaminade High School in Mineola, Sacred Heart Academy in Hempstead and the Crescent School in Hempstead. District officials said the transportation changes are expected to save about $120,000.

“Our ability to collect money through the tax levy is capped and our state aid has been decreasing and that really creates a perfect storm where school districts are forced to make some difficult choices,” Heidenreich said.

In order to stay within the tax levy cap, district administrators have proposed cutting 15 full-time teaching positions, six support staff members and three sports teams, among other reductions.

“Our students will have fewer opportunities to take elective courses,” Heidenreich said, “because quite simply they won’t run, and are class sizes will increase where it might not be uncommon where we have classes upwards, in some cases, of 30 students.” He added that this is the fourth consecutive year of cuts in the district.

With the $120,000 the district is proposed to save with the transportation changes, Heidenreich proposed bringing back one English teaching position and offer some electives based on student interest.


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I confirmed with the district that not only does this potentially affect those children attending the High Schools listed above, but also 7th and 8th grade students attending area parochial schools. To ask a 12-year old to ride a public bus is irresponsible and potentially dangerous.

Monday, March 11, 2013 | Report this

Since the decision was made to cut private school busing in this fashion, the County lost its lawsuit to have school districts pay for tax assessment errors. Certainly the VSCHSD had budgeted funds to cover this potential payment prior to the court's decision. That would mena that there is now additional money in the proposed budget that is not spoken for. Shouldn't the district use $120,000 and restore the cut to transportation. In addition how about restoring last years cuts to St. Anne's transportation.

Finally, if we can assume that 30 students do not attend the private schools due to this transportation cut and then return to VS schools, the district will have to hire one additional teacher at close to $70,000 plus benefits totaling another $25,000. For the difference of $25,000 ($120-(70+25)), the district can restore transportation to this group. They can't find $25,000 in a budget of over $100 million? Remarkable!

Monday, March 11, 2013 | Report this

This is ridiculous. The parents of the students attending private school are saving the district a ton of money. And now they are trying to cut their transportation?!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 | Report this

FYI...............facebook thread...pays to do some research before making cuts and affecting families!!!! Lori Hunt-Lang

Malverne owns their own buses for private school kids. They invested in it after they tried to cut it 2 years ago. It actually now saves them money. Plus we also use it for our school field trips instead of using an outside agency now.

someone should tell VS...

9 minutes ago · Like..

Anna Gennusa Sullivan The buses that Malverne purchased are used for both public and private school purposes. But, yes, they saved the district more than what the proposed cuts would have been. VS should be consulting with surrounding districts.

Thursday, March 14, 2013 | Report this
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