Budget Passes, Heckler And Judson Reelected

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Hicksville residents went out to vote for both the school district budget and two Board of Education trustee positions on Tuesday, May 15.

Running for the two trustee positions were incumbents president Phil Heckler and vice president Brenda Judson, and newcomer Kyle Singh. With 1,070 votes, Heckler was reelected to his seat. With 906 votes, Judson was reelected to her seat, beating out Singh who received 280 votes.

Among their many plans for their upcoming terms on the board, Heckler will be working to hire an “exceptional leader” to replace retiring Hicksville Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carl Bonuso, expand career programs at both Nassau BOCES and at Hicksville High School, and construct and upgrade school building facilities.

Judson will be focusing on funding across the federal, state and local levels, addressing the bullying issues students face, increasing safety and security measures in each of the district’s schools, upgrading school technology and providing more health and wellness support to students. Judson will also be working with Heckler to find an appropriate candidate to replace Dr. Bonuso at the end of the school year.

With a vote of 983 in favor and 343 against, the Hicksville School District Board of Education’s 2018-19 budget of $135,686,223, has been accepted for the school district’s next fiscal year. This is a $904,956, or .67 percent, increase from last year’s budget of $134,781,267, with a 1.89 percent tax levy increase—an increase that stays within the two percent tax levy cap.

The budget, for the fourth year, continues to place emphasis on building “the 3 P’s” of programs, people and plant, while maintaining all existing programs and services. The 3 P’s will allow for new programs and enhancements to facilities in the school district while ensuring a continued emphasis on safety.

Highlights of the proposed budget include the addition of security guards at each elementary school and additional security hours at the middle and high schools, increased student support from guidance counselor services, additional instructional periods in select school subjects, adding a pre-K class to Woodland Elementary School, a new third grade Spanish program in all elementary schools, new high school courses, new textbooks, and interior and exterior refurbishment and repairs in all of the district’s schools.

A second proposition, the Capital Reserve Expenditure, received 1,029 votes in favor and 317 votes against. This budget proposition comes at no additional tax increase to Hicksville residents and seeks approval for the district to expend money from its Capital Reserve Fund in the ultimate amount of $1,721,030 plus interest accruals for the purposes of security upgrades and the purchase of classroom technology. Work can begin on July 1, the start of the district’s new fiscal year, to have the proposed projects, such as door swipes, surveillance cameras, mantraps and elementary school WiFi, installed and ready for school in September.

A third proposition, in which $60,000 will be appropriated to the Hicksville Gregory Museum, was also approved, receiving 1,011 votes in favor and 348 votes against, This sum of money will be used for educational services associated with the Gregory Museum’s programs.

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