The West Hempstead Board of Education held a final public hearing during Tuesday's monthly business meeting for residents to learn about the proposed 2012-2013 budget they will be voting on May 15.
The $55,188,693 revenue budget (up from $54,397,183 for 2011-2012) that the board adopted on April 17 includes a total property tax levy of $40,870,966, which is up from the 2011-12 adjusted number of $39,843,764. The property tax levy increase is 2.58 percent, which is under the tax cap imposed by New York State law.
School officials explained that the 2012-13 budget that is proposed allows for an additional reading teacher to be added to the West Hempstead School District. The Elementary School intramural program will also be restored, which was attributed to controlled spending on the Board's part. The administration was able to offset the increases in expenses, fueled by unfunded state mandates and employee benefits, through a roughly $1 million decrease in student transportation appropriations. For more information about the budget, click here to visit Patch's topic page.
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During the two-hour meeting, West Hempstead School Superintendent John Hogan said that the school district is working on a finalized version of the APPR (Annual Professional Performance Review.) The district will soon decide upon the principal/teacher evaluation process, which follows a rubric system.
Hogan said the district has held numerous meetings with the State about the APPR and that the, "meetings have been productive." He also said that school staff has been going to an APPR training course. The state wants all APPR applications filed by July 1 and Hogan says he is confident the district will have them in by June 30.
The superintendent also had good news to announce regarding state aid for West Hempstead. Hogan said he recently spoke with Sen. Dean Skelos about the Bullet Aid money that is available to school districts and the Senate Majority Leader informed him that West Hempstead schools will get $50,000. (This aid is made available to districts who are represented by a Republican Senator.)
Director of Mathematics, Andrew Murray, and Jasmine Emouna, a social worker for the district, were also recognized by the board during Tuesday's meeting for recently earning tenure.
The board also bestowed a certificate of appreciation to outgoing Trustee Vincent Trocchia, whose time on the board will end on May 15 when either or are elected to Anthony Brita's seat, which Trocchia had been appointed to after Brita resigned. The board thanked Trocchia for his dedicated service to the students and the community of West Hempstead.
Three West Hempstead High School students - Amanda Gabayan, Madison Hoffman and Matt DiGiovanni - also received certificates. They were praised for recently winning Long Island Good Deed Awards from the National Committee for the Furtherance of Jewish Education on Long Island for their community service. DiGiovanni earned $300 for his work in teaching religion at his church and volunteering in his religious community. Gabayan, who volunteered with her church and the Interfaith Nutritional Network, and Hoffmann, who brought the Responsible Driving Program to West Hempstead High School, each received at $150 award.
Joseph Tudisco, a second grader at George Washington Elementary, was also recognized for becoming the PTA County and State Reflections winner for his photograph entitled “Diversity means my different Halloween candy.” Joseph compared diversity to trick or treat candy, showing having one type is great, but having many different types is even better! For photos of this year's Reflections program in West Hempstead click