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Support Lawrence’s budget and incumbents

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The proposed Lawrence School District budget for the 2021-22 school year, $102.49 million, is identical to the current operating budget. Board of Education trustees and district administrators have worked hard to keep costs down while making effective use of funds to upgrade academic programs and renovate school buildings.

An array of enhancements are being undertaken at the high school and middle school, from classroom restoration to air conditioning and other ventilation improvements. And despite Covid-19 protocols nudging expenses upward, the district continues to address security issues.

Lawrence will receive a boost in state aid thanks to the stimulus money that New York state will get from the federal American Rescue Plan. In addition, the district could receive at least $5.9 million in direct stimulus funding.

We are confident that the trustees and other district officials will continue to keep a sharp eye on expenses and use the money wisely. We encourage community members to approve the budget on Tuesday.

Blachorsky, Feldhamer for trustee

Incumbent Trustee Heshy Blachorsky, running for a third three-year term, is being challenged by Asher Matathias. In nearly six years as a board member, Blachorsky has demonstrated an understanding of the challenges the district faces and a passion for supporting all of its children.

He has, for example, helped enhance community relations by organizing a basketball game between Lawrence High students and officers from the Nassau County Police Department’s 4th Precinct.

Matathias is running for the eighth consecutive year. The district gadfly attends every school board meeting, and has a solid grasp of the issues. He supports breaking the contract negotiation stalemate between the district and the Lawrence Teachers Association, and wants to see more diversity on the board. Both are admirable notions, but his boorish behavior at meetings, and his verbal attacks on officials and others, compel us to dismiss his candidacy.

Feldhamer, who is running for a fifth term on the board, has said he values the collaboration with his fellow trustees and administrators to accomplish what needs to be done. We trust he will continue to help the district stay ahead of the curve, and we urge voters to support him, and Blachorsky, in next week’s vote.