In recent years, the Malverne School District 12 has been on the move! Academic test scores have risen, student enrollments have increased, music and sports have won New York State Championships and more than 90 percent of the graduates have excelled in college and beyond.
The multi-generational citizens from Malverne's tri-community have demonstrated their support for the results of a quality education through their proud history of passed budgets over many years. Unfortunately, the aging school buildings have begun to deteriorate – especially, the two elementary schools. Also, the high school fields, originally built on a swamp, and the other outdoor athletic facilities need a major facelift at this time.
Following years of research, the Malverne Board of Education's trustees have addressed these problems in a two-part bond issue. On Tues., Nov. 16, the board is asking their fellow residents to assist them in providing adequate educational facilities for Malverne's students. The board has incorporated the annual cost of the bond over the next 15 years into the annual district budget as a fractional part ( 2 percent ) of the total budget. It is important to note that $5,600,000 in building aid ( almost 40 percent of the entire bond ) will be paid by New York State.
Over the previous decade, the vast majority of Long Island school districts (and most others around the state) passed bond issues to fix their schools – projects that your New York State tax dollars helped to fund! Malverne's last bond issue was passed in 1979 – more than three decades without any capital project improvements for our schools. Based upon the identified critical needs and the favorable state aid funding for these projects, the benefits to the entire school community are apparent, and the Board of Education believes it is time to take advantage of available state funding for these critical needs.
With borrowing rates historically low, construction bids highly competitive and state aid funding very favorable, this is an opportune time to move forward to fix our schools. The annual budget increase last year was 2.7 percent. The board and I have committed ourselves to hold future budget increases at this level, or less. Belt-tightening on a long-term basis will be necessary, but the safety and integrity of the communities' schools can not be compromised.
Almost everywhere, but especially on Long Island, where good schools are valued so greatly, there is a dynamic relationship between the quality of a community's schools and the market value of its homes. In the end, these two propositions have been researched, reduced and developed with a responsible funding plan that will not produce an additional tax burden. The tradition of excellence for the Malverne school-community now rests in the hands of those who will consider the facts and vote on Nov. 16, at the from 7 am- 9 pm.
Improvement Project Highlights
• Our school buildings have served us well, but they are old (especially our elementary schools) and in need of attention to ensure that we provide safe and effective environments. Additionally, our athletic the fields are in bad shape, the bleachers are dilapidated, and enrollments are growing – all important drivers for this project.
• Approval of the project allows the district to complete the district's reorganization by moving 5th graders out of the middle school.
• The State will pay almost 40 percent, or $5.6 million of the cost of the project. In other words, approval of this vote brings $5.6 million into Malverne, and rejection of the vote is a rejection of millions in state aid, meaning higher costs for our residents.
• The annual budget will absorb the annual loan payments for the improvements – residents will not discern any unusual or excessive cost increases because of this project.
• Failure of support for this project reduces the district's budget flexibility by forcing us to put additional money in the capital line of the budget, and increases costs for less of a return.