Incumbent Kim Wheeler has spent the past three years working with her colleagues on the Board of Education to improve the learning experiences that District 24 students receive, and spent many years before that volunteering her time in the district’s Parent Teacher Association.
But Charlene Ali-Barreto would add a fresh voice to the District 24 board, and has many good ideas to improve the district, particularly in areas where it has leeway beyond state mandates.
Like many who represent the new face of Valley Stream, Ali-Berreto, a chef, moved to the neighborhood in 2013 specifically so her children could attend District 24 schools. If elected, Ali-Barreto said she would use her expertise in bulk purchasing to improve school lunches and cut costs in the Valley Stream school system as a whole.
Additionally, she would like to live-stream district meetings and provide the public with comprehensive minutes. We agree with these proposals. For those reasons, we believe Ali-Barreto is the best choice in the District 24 race.
If re-elected, Wheeler said, she would look for fiscally responsible ways to reinstate the district’s elementary Spanish program, which was discontinued several years ago due to budgetary constraints. The district should indeed find a way to bring it back.
Whoever wins the seat should also examine the district’s commercial tax burden, which is the highest in Nassau County and is a deterrent to development on Rockaway Avenue.
Approve District 24’s budget
The district’s $29.9 million proposed 2019-20 budget makes good fiscal sense and should be approved. It is only $1.3 million larger than the current spending plan, and 70 percent of it would go straight to programming.