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Support the Rockville Centre school and library budgets

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Rockville Centre School District administrators and the Board of Education have made an admirable effort to maintain the number and quality of programs for the 2020-21 school year, and we feel it is especially important for voters to support the district’s budget proposal.

The board is presenting a spending plan to the community that keeps all current educational and support programs and maintains staffing. The $122.86 million budget has a tax levy increase of 2.01 percent, which is below the state cap, and is the result of months of discussion among administrators and board trustees. It includes capital improvement projects such as roofing repairs at South Side High School, South Side Middle School and Hewitt Elementary School, restroom upgrades at the high school as well as Hewitt, Covert and Watson elementary schools, and sidewalk and curb repairs at Hewitt and Watson.

Though these are uncertain times, a rejection of the plan would force the board to put a revised version up to a second vote — which would be especially costly, given the requirement of mail-in balloting in our new age of social distancing, and especially risky, because there might not be enough time to complete the process.

The ballots, on which residents will also have the opportunity to vote on two candidates for two open seats on the school board, have been mailed out, and must be returned to the district clerk by 5 p.m. on June 9. A ballot drop-off box has been set up in the vestibule of the administration building for those who want to return them in person.

We also encourage voters to approve the Rockville Centre Public Library’s $3.7 million 2020-21 budget, which includes a tax levy increase of just .99 percent. The facility continues to make clear its dedication to meeting the needs of people looking for new programs and services, as well as patrons who return for traditional programs they have grown accustomed to and enjoy. And, though no one is challenging incumbent board of directors Trustee Rebecca Nothel, we encourage residents to show her their support with their votes, and send the message that the facility’s future is in good hands