The votes are in and Glen Cove City School District’s $102 million budget passed with 751 votes in favor and 449 votes against on Tuesday. “Its an amazing and wonderful feeling,” Superintendent Dr. Maria Rianna said, “because we see that the majority of the district has supported our budget.”
Along with the budget, voters have chosen incumbent Lia Leone and Audre Lynn Hurston James, a Glen Cove parent and entrepreneur, to fill the two seats on the Board of Education.
Leone, the current board president, who received 828 votes, will remain on the board as president until the board’s vote on July 1. “It feels amazing,” Leone said after the results. “What's more important is that the propositions passed and we can start to fix our schools."
James, who won with 655 votes, will be taking a trustee seat on the board that has remained vacant since Karen Ferguson left in December 2021. She will have the option to start immediately at the next board meeting on May 18. “I am very happy to be able to make a contribution beyond volunteering,” James said. “I've been volunteering in the school since 2008 and [been] in it up to the elbows. Now it's in a different way and it's a learning curve, but I'm very happy.”
The school budget includes a 1.8-percent tax levy, which is a $500,000 increase from last year. Part of the budget are capital projects totaling $1 million, which include the improvements to the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning at Landing, repairing the fire alarms system at Deasy, and the renovations to the 1910 building patio at Deasy.
There will also be an implementation of a nine-period day at Robert M. Finley Middle School at an expense of $550,000. It will allow for the district to open the curriculum to world language experience in sixth grade, research opportunities for eighth and seventh graders, additional English Language Arts and math support for eight and seventh grade, opportunities to participate in Seal of Civic Readiness and complete projects to gain credits, and regent level math and science courses for the eighth grade.
Included in the vote on Tuesday was the passing of two other propositions: the transfer of $7.5 million in capital reserve to fund the extensions of Deasy and Landing elementary schools, and the approval to create a student seat on the Board of Education.
The transfer of $7.5 million in capital reserves to fund the extensions of Deasy and Landing, which passed with a vote of 847 in favor and 384 against, involves the addition of four classrooms, a bathroom, and an elevator in each school. The funding came from the federal coronavirus stimulus funds from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and Americans Rescue Plan.
“We will be working to move the renovations in the right direction,” Rianna said. “We are able to use this stimulus money with the capital reserve, and we will be able to do the much needed renovations.”
Now, students can participate on the Board of Education. The third proposition, regarding the BOE’s student seat, passed with 789 and 435 against. The student will have to be a senior from Glen Cove High School who is elected as class president by the student body. They will have no voting rights and are on the board to provide a student perspective to discussions.
“Students are my heart,” Rianna said. “I am very, very happy that we will have a student voice and that student will have a lot of responsibility to really speak for all the children in our district, and I'm looking forward to working with the young people in that capacity.”