Manhasset School District Board of Education Newsletter - February 2014
As our public schools continue to face challenges presented by New York State legislation and multiple mandates, we are pleased to report thatManhasset’s students continue to perform at high levels and that our staff continues to work diligently to maintain and exceed those standards.
Please take a few moments to review these items of district-wide interest. As always, we welcome your input, as only by working together can we ensure that our public schools remain strong, now and into the future.
Road to the 2014/15 Budget Begins Saturday, March 8 @ 9 AM
· Superintendent Charlie Cardillo will present his Preliminary Working Budget for 2014/15 to the Board and the community on Saturday, March 8 @ 9 AM in the Secondary School Board Room or Black Box Theatre.
· Community feedback on the preliminary working budget is vital and welcomed! Comments and suggestions are encouraged before the Board adopts the final 2014/15 budget on Wednesday, April 9.
· Budget hearings and meetings are listed here (make here an active link to the Annual Budget Process Flyer). Additional meetings may be scheduled as necessary.
· Beginning March 8, all budget information will be regularly updated on the District’s website: www.manhasset.k12.ny.us. Please review the specifics of the preliminary working budget.
· MARK YOR CALENDAR: Tuesday, May 20th - Budget Vote and Board Election, 6:30 AM - 10:00 PM in the Secondary School Gym.
What Governor Cuomo’s Budget Proposal Means for Manhasset’s Schools
· The Governor’s proposed budget includes a nominal $20,000 increase in State funding for Manhasset schools.
· Due to the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) implemented in 2009 by New York State, annual State aid remains over $800,000 less than in 2008/09.
· Advocate for the repeal of the GEA and reinstatement of the much needed funding for our District by writing to your New York State representatives here (make “here” an active link to the letters).
District-wide Long Term Facilities Planning Committee
· A long term facilities planning committee comprised of community members is being convened to assess, and prioritize district-wide facilities’ needs, on both a short and long term basis. The committee’s preliminary findings are to be presented to the Board in June.
· Community members interested in serving on the facilities planning committee should contact Superintendent Cardillo atccardillo@ManhassetSchools.org by March 3rd.
· An average of $4 million has been invested annually over the last 8 years on facilities repairs, infrastructure replacement, renovations, upgrades and long term maintenance. This ongoing investment reflects the District’s commitment to maintaining our valuable community asset. Thanks to invaluable community partnerships, over $2 million of those funds have been raised privately.
Comptroller DiNapoli’s Report: “Susceptible to Fiscal Stress”
· Manhasset was designated as a school district “susceptible to fiscal stress” due to low scores in the following areas: operating deficit, fund balance and trend and amount of short-term debt. The District has questioned the operating deficit and short term debt issuance classifications. The Comptroller’s office has confirmed that they will revisit both classifications.
· Details about the designation and links to the Comptroller’s report are at: http://www.manhasset.k12.ny.us/news.cfm?story=1436&school=0
Common Core State Standards (CCSS) / Testing / Student Data
· The Board, along with the Nassau Council of School Superintendents, New York State School Boards Association and other groups, has been advocating that the State Education Department slow down the implementation of CCSS. The Board of Regents approved a plan to slow the timeline of higher graduation requirements beginning with the Class of 2022 (current 4th grade students). This will be the first class to be fully immersed in Common Core curricula.
· The Board continues to urge our State legislators to fully fund the mandated CCSS implementation.
· The Board adopted a resolution on October 24, 2013 calling upon policymakers to reduce the over-reliance on standardized testing and to recalibrate the number, duration and appropriate use of standardized testing so the District can focus on high quality instruction and student learning.
· A resolution demanding that New York State not share student data with third party providers is scheduled to be on the agenda for the February 27 Board meeting.
NYSASBO Testifies at Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on Education
Please visit the below-referenced link to view a very informative video containing testimony on the governor’s budget for education by NYS Association of School Business Officials, NY Council of School Superintendents and NYS School Boards Association testimony at the Joint Legislative Budget Hearing delivered on January 28, 2014.
Board of Education Newsletter for October
We hope everyone has settled smoothly back into the school routine. Exciting things are happening across the District thanks to the strong partnership of Manhasset team of parents, students and staff. Please note these upcoming events which may be of interest to you; additional events can be found on the District website:
Superintendent’s Listening Tour October and November
Building on the spirited dialogue and the record level of engagement across the Manhasset community during the spring budget vote, our Superintendent, Charlie Cardillo, will be meeting with members of the community to discuss our schools: what our community values, the strengths and weaknesses, and thoughts about their future. We encourage you to be an active participant in this process.
Homecoming Saturday, October 19 2PM
At half-time we will formally say thank you to the leadership team of Manhasset PAL, Manhasset Soccer, Indians Rock and the Manhasset Booster Club and acknowledge the generosity of the Manhasset community for the successful fundraising to replace the stadium turf during the track and field area renovation. Funding for the track project came from the District’s Capital Reserve Fund and was approved by voters in 2011.
K-12 Assessment Overview Thursday, October 24 8PM
The Board meeting will informally begin at 7:30PM in the High School Library with a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the Tower Foundation’s High School Library Refurbishment project. We thank the Tower Foundation for their vision, efforts and support in providing Manhasset students with a well-equipped 21st century space that inspires inquiry and learning. At 8 PM, we will begin a detailed report of 2012-2013 testing, which includes results from the first State assessments aligned with new Common Core learning standards. Manhasset students performed well in grades 3-8 Math and ELA tests, coming in second highest in proficiency among Long Island schools.
Teacher Evaluation Program Report Thursday, December 5 8PM
The Board meeting will include a detailed report the new teacher evaluation program (APPR). The first year of implementation has been very successful, fostering a groundbreaking approach that promotes a culture of continuous communication and ongoing improvement of instruction.
As we look forward to a successful year, maintaining a solid educational and financial foundation depends on the ongoing engagement of all community members. Your questions and comments are always welcome; contact us at boe@ManhassetSchools.org. In partnership together, we believe we can chart a path, now and into the future, to ensure that educational excellence remains the hallmark for Manhasset’s students.
The Manhasset Board of Education
Regina Rule, President
Carlo Prinzo, Vice President
Ann Marie Curd
Get the Facts on School Taxes
When asked about the increase in school tax rates, Nassau County Acting Assessor James Davis recently stated, “School spending is out of control and that’s why taxes are going up.” Facts do not support that statement. Here in Manhasset, spending, typically referred to as the budget, will decrease by 1% for the 2013-14 school year. This school year’s budget is nearly $1 million lower than last year’s budget. School spending is under control.
Spending is decreasing, yet the voter approved tax levy for the 2013-14 budget is $79,341,951, a 1.97% increase. The tax levy increase makes up for a shortfall in revenue from other sources, namely reserves. By law, each school district relies on Nassau County to collect the voter approved tax levy. In Manhasset’s case, the district will receive the approved 1.97% increase in tax levy revenue, a total of $79,341,951 and not a dollar more. If Manhasset voters approved a tax levy increase of 1.97%, why then are Manhasset homeowners seeing their tax bills increase more than that 1.97% ? That answer lies with the Nassau County Assessor who is responsible for allocating Manhasset’s total tax levy of $79,341,951 among each of the property taxpayers in the district: individual homeowners, businesses, condominiums and utilities.
Also note that the County Assessor is additionally responsible for handling the tax grievance process. News reports state that 87% of tax grievances filed were granted. Why so many? Questions on the tax assessment, allocation and grievance processes must be directed to the County Assessor’s Office; they are beyond the legal responsibility of the school district. School spending is well under control in Manhasset. More importantly, school spending is controlled by what the Manhasset community wants for its schools.
The Manhasset Board of Education
Ann Marie Curd