School budget and board of education votes are on Tuesday, as voters in all five North Fork districts will head to the polls. They open up from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. in every district except Greenport, which is open from 2 to 8 p.m.
Budget: $16.9 million
Estimated tax levy increase: 2.52%
The Greenport School District is proposing a $16.9 million budget carrying an estimated tax levy increase of 2.52 percent, which district officials say is $1 below the state-mandated tax cap.
The district is allowed to propose a budget that exceeds the 2 percent limit without needing 60 percent voter approval because certain expenses like capital improvements are exempt from the tax levy cap.
The proposed spending hike of about 3.37 percent maintains student programs and includes funds for contractual salary and benefit increases, state-mandated ESL services and restoration of the district’s summer school program, among other expenses.
Total costs for regular classroom instruction — including teacher salaries, textbooks and supplies — are projected to rise nearly 5.9 percent to $4.5 million. The district also plans to spend about $76,200 on textbooks for secondary students — more than double the amount allocated for the current school year, according to the proposed budget.
As for benefits, the total amount for district employees is estimated to cost nearly $5 million next year, a 2.2 percent hike over the current school year.
Babette Cornine (incumbent)
Ms. Cornine said she’s pleased with how the district has cut costs and enhanced programs through shared services with the Southold school district.
“Even though we are a small school, we encounter the same problems as the larger districts to the west,” she said. “To cope with these challenges, we need to continue to be creative in our financial and educational planning to meet the new mandates from the state education department.”
Ms. Cornine is a past PTA president and has volunteered with North Fork Community Theatre for the past several years. She’s lived in Southold Town for 49 years and has in Greenport for 31 years. Both of her children attended school in the district and she has also worked in the district’s business office.
Ms. Cornine has served on the school board for the past three years and believes her experience working in the district helps the board address students’ financial and educational needs.
Daniel Creedon (incumbent)
Mr. Creedon has served on the school board for the past six years. He’d like to continue serving, in part, to find ways of enhancing programs through shared services, particularly in recent partnerships with the Southold school district.
He said he’s happy about the district’s recent success at cutting costs while increasing student opportunities through shared programs, including athletics and drama.
“We have done this while at the same time insisting that each school district maintain its identity and unique experience for kids,” he said.
Mr. Creedon has lived in Greenport for 24 years and has three children. He’s attended school board meetings for the past 16 years — ever since his eldest child entered kindergarten.
He’s been teaching high school earth science in the Islip school district for 27 years and is a volunteer with the Greenport Fire Department and Rotary Youth Exchange.
CHECK OUT THE MATTITUCK-CUTCHOGUE BUDGET AND CANDIDATES: