.

Lynbrook BOE Says 'No' to Private School Late Buses

Study shows that cost would be too high; summer playground program in danger.

In response to past questions about the feasibility of providing late buses for Lynbrook students who attend private schools, the Lynbrook Union Free School District revealed the results of an economic study during Wednesday night’s board of education meeting at Lynbrook High School.

Currently, the district does not provide late bus services for students who attend private schools, the board said. 

According to the study presented by Lynbrook Administrator for Personnel and Student Support Services Denise Nystrom, the district currently pays for the regular transportation of 118 students to attend 19 different non-public schools. A large amount of those students attend Chaminade, Kellenberg, Sacred Heart, Brandeis or St. Raymond's.

Under current busing prices, it would cost the district $193,110 per year to send late buses to those five schools. That figure does not include the cost of sending buses to the other 14 non-public schools that Lynbrook students currently attend, according to the presentation.

Supplying late buses to private schools would require them to be provided within the district as well, a service that is not available to current Lynbrook UFSD students.

Using the current YMCA after-school program as a model, Nystrom determined that providing late buses to both the five private schools and Lynbrook public schools would cost $260,890. 

Given that her calculations only included the five most populated private schools and the YMCA program public school students, Nystrom said that the final cost would most likely be higher than her original figure.

The district could also choose to combine private school routes with neighboring districts and pay for the transportation on a "per pupil" basis -- this would expose the districts to costs in the $500,000 range, according to Nystrom.

With mounting concerns about the 2-percent tax cap and how it will affect the financial well-being of the district in coming years, the board expressed that the cost of instituting late buses may be prohibitively high.

The recently approved budget was $11,000 shy of the state mandated cap, according to Assistant Superintendent Dr. Melissa Burak. 

"I think the financial exposure is just too great," Board President Catherine Papandrew said.

But the board's reasoning for not providing late buses was not acceptable to some.

"We're asking for a very reasonable thing that 75 percent of school districts on Long Island provide to [students]," a Kellenberg parent said. "I'm really disappointed."

Following the board's busing discussion, Superintendent Dr. Santo Barbarino revealed that, due to lack of interest, the district's summer evening playground program is in serious jeopardy. 

After releasing a survey assessing public interest, the district set a price of $162 for each interested student to have access to supervised playground time on summer evenings. The response after releasing this figure was far below expected.

The district, which does not intend to use funds to pay for the program, is unable to pay staff under the current enrollment, according to Barbarino. 

"At this point, it's tough to go forward with this," Barbarino said. "We can't spend that kind of money, we need the money from the public in order to go forward with the project. I don’t think we're going to get the participation at this point."

Those who already paid for the program will get their money back, according to the board.       

Marion Street PTA June 14, 2012 at 08:22 PM
The article needs to be more clear. There were not enough paid registrants for the NIGHT program. Although many people expressed interest, the district will not move forward because only 21 paid applications were received. They needed at least 50 to move forward. There is a daytime program from 9-12pm at both West End and Marion Street.
Matthew Hogan June 14, 2012 at 08:41 PM
@Marion Street PTA: The article states, "After releasing a survey assessing public interest, the district set a price of $162 for each interested student to have access to supervised playground time on summer evenings. The response after releasing this figure was far below expected." Before that, it is also mentioned that it is "the district's summer evening playground program." If you'd like to reach out with more information about the daytime program, feel free to email me at Matthew.Hogan@Patch.com. Thanks. -- Matthew Hogan Associate Regional Editor
Mary Beth June 14, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Mr. Hogan, thank you for updating the article from the original confusing wording. After I emailed the author he indicated that you would be correcting. The article does read correctly now, while the heading and Facebook posting are still vague.
Mary Chin June 16, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Concerning the issue of after school activities late busing, are they really sticking with the story that they don't provide late busing to public school students?? Because I'm pretty sure that story is NOT true. Call it what they will, if it looks like a late bus and smells like a late bus, IT'S A LATE BUS!!! We pay our school taxes like everyone else and ask for little in return. Give me a break and how about cutting some waste out of the budget if you want to claim you can't afford it. But I don't buy that story either.
Lynbrook Resident June 27, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Hmmmmm... let's see. The students attending private school are still paying 100% of the Lynbrook UFSD School tax. There is no Lynbrook UFSD expenditure to offset that tax... so the district is collecting tax on students they aren't educating to the tune of thousands each year. So they collect the money but won't provide a service? Are they serious? Give the money back to those homeowners and they'll hire their own transportation. Maybe Dr. Barbarino would like to kick in a bit of his transportation stipend, considering he lives 4 blocks from the school and could walk. This district seriously needs a fiscal overhaul.
Lynbrook Resident June 27, 2012 at 08:18 PM
"At this point, it's tough to go forward with this," Barbarino said. "We can't spend that kind of money, we need the money from the public in order to go forward with the project. I don’t think we're going to get the participation at this point." Instead of talk about the money, why don't you attempt to find out why there is so much apathy with the district residents? Poll the residents and you might learn they don't participate because this IS NOT an ~inclusive~ district. The residents are never asked what they want, they are just told what they'll get. INCLUDE the residents in the process not by *inviting* them to one of your meetings like you're doing them a favor, but INVITING them to help develop the programs. THEN you have to listen to what they want and institute it.... if the school board and the administration can tear themselves away from their own agendas long enough to figure out the residents pay for all of this... things might be a lot better.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something