$300K security enhancements in E. Williston’s $60M school budget

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$300K security enhancements in E. Williston’s $60M school budget
The East Williston board of education approved a $60 million budget, with $300,000 allotted for security enhancements. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

The East Williston Board of Education last Wednesday adopted a $60,007,038 budget for the 2018-19 school year, which is a 2.95 percent increase from the current budget.

The proposed tax levy is 2.48 percent, which is below the district’s allowable 4.22 percent based on the state’s tax cap formula, according to Superintendent Elaine Kanas.

The budget includes $300,000 for security enhancements, board President Mark Kamberg said.

While Kamberg could not divulge all details for security reasons, he said there will be physical changes to make the buildings more secure.

Kamberg said the financial burden still remains on the residents themselves in the form of the tax levy, noting that the district is remaining within the allowable tax levy with the security enhancements.

The board recently sent a letter to Nassau County Executive Laura Curran after the February shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, about the role the county should play in helping to finance school security.

At a previous Board of Education meeting, Kamberg said the county should “share in the tax burden” by allocating police resources.

Members of the public will vote on the budget on May 15 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Wheatley School gymnasium.

There are also two Board of Education seats up for election this year.

Robert V. Fallarino and Leonard Hirsch are running unopposed for re-election for three-year terms.

Other budget highlights include continuing the Peru and Italy exchange trips and expanding the social science research program at the Wheatley School, Danielle Gately, assistant superintendent for instruction and personnel, said at a February budget hearing.

There are also STEM (or science, technology, engineering and math) improvements such as expanding the Chromebook one-to-one initiative to grades two through 12, expanding opportunities at Willets Road School’s innovation lab and installing 40 Interactive Flat Panel boards at all three schools, Gately said.

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