In developing a proposed school budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year, the Locust Valley CSD Board of Education faces many challenges based upon the new property tax cap law and excessive, costly spending mandates. These are real issues that could have significant impacts on our schools, our students, our staff, and our community. Below are some of the questions we have been asked in recent weeks, with FACTUAL answers presented for your consideration. The district will expand these questions and answers in the coming weeks.

  • Q. Does the LVSEA teacher union president receive paid release time during the school day to conduct union business?

    A. No. There is no paid release time granted to the teacher union president. She is paid only for her job as a teacher.



    Q. How will a defeated budget affect our district?

    A. In all likelihood, an initial defeat of the budget would result in spending reductions that will significantly impact staff and programs, since cuts will be required to meet a tax cap budget (currently a 2.68% levy increase). If the budget is defeated twice, the new property tax cap law specifies that the maximum tax levy will be ZERO. This will result in an automatic reduction in spending of approximately $3.5 million, which will require significant reductions, possibly from non-required areas, including class size, transportation, academic programs, clubs, athletics, kindergarten and others.

     

    Q. Does the Superintendent of Schools get an annual raise?

    A. Superintendent Dr. Anna Hunderfund has not received a raise since she was hired four years ago.

     

    Q. Does the budget include expenses for private school students?

    A. Yes, the annual school district budget includes the cost of transportation, books, services for special education students, and software expenses for approximately 800 private school students. All of these expenses are mandated by the State.

     

    Q. Why will spending and taxes increase with the proposed budget?

    A. In 2012-13, school spending and taxes are increasing largely due to the new and existing unfunded state mandates which are legally required. The most dramatic increases for the 2012-2013 school year are due to the new unfunded mandates, including the imposition of the Common Core standards (a new curriculum for grades K-12), APPR (a new teacher and principal evaluation system) and RTI (that requires monitoring and increased remediation for every student in the district).

     

    Q. How are Locust Valley students performing on State and national measures of excellence?

    A. Currently, Locust Valley High School is ranked 139 in the nation (among 27,000 high schools) according to The Washington Post. Locust Valley High School has also tied for first place in Nassau County for Regents Diplomas, demonstrating that our students achieve at very high levels. Locust Valley High School has also been named a New York State School of Distinction, one of only five schools on Long Island to earn this distinction, meaning that every single varsity athletic team earned scholar-athlete status with a team average of 90 or above. At Locust Valley Middle School, more than 90 percent of eighth-graders earn Regents credit (that’s High School credit) before they leave the Middle School. At the elementary level, students are winning national awards in areas such as science research!

     

    Q. Did our teachers receive a raise this year?

    A. Locust Valley teachers agreed not to take a raise this year. They are only receiving step increases, which are required by law.

     

    Q. Is the district administratively top heavy?

    A. No, and in fact, administrative staffing has decreased significantly in recent years. As an example, there has been a sharp reduction in central office administrative positions since 2008.

     

    LVCSD Central Office Administrative Positions in 2008-2009

    • 1 Superintendent
    • 1 Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction
    • 1 Assistant Superintendent for Business
    • 1 Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources
    • 1 Director of Technology
    • 1 Director of Pupil Personnel Services
    • 1 Assistant Director of Pupil Personnel Services

    LVCSD Central Office Administrative Positions in 2011-2012

    • 1 Superintendent
    • 1 Assistant Superintendent for Business
    • Part-time positions for Pupil Personnel Services and Human Resources.

    In addition, the principals are each doing multiple jobs as well, allowing us to not have to pay for more administrative positions with full-time salaries and benefits.

    Q. Are there any open seats on the Board of Education?


    A. Yes, there are two open seats on the Board of Education for a term of three years. Incumbents Erika Bruno and Suzanne Sgueglia are running unopposed.