Hudson Valley votes on school budgets

Voters head to the polls Tuesday to approve or reject school budgets and elect school board members. Here poll workers help or wait for voters in the West Genesee Central School District in 2009

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In compliance with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the Board will consider declaring the District's need for fully qualified educators and will consider approving previously-reviewed new science course materials that would be used next year at Martinez Junior High School. With school districts restricted in how much they can raise the tax levy, voters have less fear of high tax increases. School tax rates are set after the district receives the final tax assessment roll in August.

The board voted to close the three schools at the end of this school year.

The $34,508,432 budget proposal calls for a 3.13 percent local tax levy increase, which is the district's allowable tax levy limit under state guidelines, according to the district. The total cost includes legal fees, consulting fees, engineering fees and planning services. Also vying for a seat on the board are newcomers Katrina Talbot Bratge and Denise A. Szarek.

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"We should keep Creed open because for all the kids who go there it's like a family to them and some of them don't have families and with that school, it's a family", Queen Nzigah said.

One write-in candidate has made known her campaign for that seat.

During an Operations Work Group meeting, board members agreed not to pursue a proposed change to board policy that would have given the board president the ability to deny or alter requests for district information made by other board members.

Incumbent Heather Carriero has opted not to seek another term.

A full 100 percent of districts' spending plans in Nassau and Suffolk counties - 124 budgets in all - passed in the initial round of balloting at this time previous year, meaning that no revotes were needed in June.

School district candidates should reflect a cross-section of their communities.

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The fright factor now may be that voter disinterest could result in school boards being less accountable to the citizens they represent.

Polling hours are from 7:30 8 Schools 2, 12, 14, 16, 18, and CHS. The three-year ConnectED grant has a value of $432,000. The candidates include Kaitlyn Gambina of Mastic, Danielle Warsaw of Manor Park, Marion Diener of Manorville, Larry Brown Jr. of Manorville, Christine Burst of Eastport and Tara Mazovec of South Manor.

The Tioga Central School District's budget, which was also detailed by district officials earlier this month, features a tax increase as well - albeit a minute one - of 0.38 percent, which is the state tax cap for the district. School Board member Elizabeth Pucci will not be running for reelection.

Smith said each finalist will spend one day in the district touring schools and the community and interacting with board members, employees and the public.

The candidates in the remaining districts will have an easier run. An executive session for personnel and student matters is also scheduled.

Voting on the Shelter Island School District's $11.7 million budget takes place tomorrow.

The hours that polls are open on Tuesday vary.

Voting will be from 2 to 9 Rhinebeck High School on North Park Road. Richard Jackson is seeking a first term on the board and Matthew Nolin is seeking a third term on the board.

Voting will be from 2 to 8 the Wainscott School.

The budget is for the 2018-19 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

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