Pin It
Laqnsing Central School District Vote

Lansing Central School District voters will go to the polls Tuesday (May 21) to decide on whether to accept the proposed $30,794,650 budget, to also decide on the purchase of student transport vehicles, and elect three Board Of Education members.  School Superintendent Chris Pettograsso began with a summary of school facts and goals, followed by a budget presentation by School Business Administrator Kate Heath.  Proposition #1 is the budget proposal, which Heath says is estimated to have less than one percent impact on the tax rate.

"The proposed budget is a 2.42% increase over last year," Heath said. "We are under the tax cap at 2.48%.  We could have gone up to 2.94%.  The estimated tax rate increase is a 0.84%, so less than a percent increase for your tax rate.  That won't be finalized until this summer, when final assessment rolls come out.

Heath said the district is maintaining all programs at the current level, but also adding some personnel due to growing enrollment.  New positions will include an FTE (Full Time Equivalent) elementary school teacher, a new special education classroom in the elementary school.  Two positions will be brought in-house that had been filled through BOCES in the past.  They are the Director of Curriculum, and an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher.

"Our enrollment has been steadily increasing," said School Superintendent Chris Pettograsso at a budget hearing Monday. "In 2007 we had around 1,200 students.  The there was a dip, and now we're headed back up.  We're starting to see more of a stabilization of class size between 90 and 100, instead of having big dips from year to year.  Those big classes are starting to enter the middle school, resulting in starting to be a little more consistent with class size at the Middle School as well."

Heath said the Director of Curriculum and ESL teacher are needed as in-house positions as the District focuses on incorporating management of emotions and impulse control, empathy, better communication, and problem solving into the district-wide curriculum.

"As we look at Social Emotional Learning we need more time in-house for the curriculum piece of that," Heath said. "Our ESL numbers are increasing as well."

As always salaries and benefits make up the brunt of the budget rise, along, this year, with the cost of materials and supplies.  heath said that BOCES expenses will go down, in part because of bringing the two positions from BOCES to the district itself, and debt service and contractual services will also go down.

Proposition #2 is to authorize the purchase of three 70-passenger school buses to replace old buses.  The district replaces buses after operating them for ten years.

Three Board of Education seats are being contested by four candidates.  Incumbents Aaron Thompson and Susan Tabrizi are running again.  Tompson and Tabrizi have served on the school board for three years.  PTSO President Kristin Hopkins and past school board member Linda Pasto fill out the slate of candidates.  Pasto served the remainder of Karen McGreevey's term after McGreevey's family moved out of state.  Pasto ran for a board seat in 2017, but was edged out by current board member Brenda Zavaski by 5 votes.

Thompson's and Tabrizi's outgoing seats are for a term that spans July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2022.  The two candidates with the most votes will fill those two positions.  The third position will fill a vacancy from Walaa Maharem-Horan, who resigned her seat.  The Board opted not to appoint a replacement, deciding instead to wait for next week's election.  The remainder of that term begins May 22 and runs through June 30,2021.

"The person who receives the third most votes will receive that seat," Pettograsso explained.

The polls open at 7am Tuesday, May 21 at the Teacher Center in the elementary school, near the District Office.  Voting will end at 9pm.

Pin It