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Miller Place Board Adopts Budget Under Cap Without Full-Day Kindergarten

The Miller Place school board adopted a budget without the proposed full-day kindergarten.

The proposal of full-day kindergarten in the 2013-14 school budget in Miller Place has been a hot topic since first proposed by Superintendent Marianne Higuera. On Wednesday the Board of Education made a decision to adopt a budget without the proposal.

After including kindergarten in the superintendent's budget, the school board listened to varying community views on the topic for about a month before ultimately deciding against it.

"We are all cognizant of the educational merits of doing it, but at this particular time the sustainability issue is just too much for this board to pass," said trustee Michael Unger.

The budget would have been $67,757,777, a 4.3-percent increase, with full-day kindergarten. Instead, the adopted budget of around $67.3 million will be an increase of 3.64 percent from last year.

"They are putting together the best educational program they can for 2013-'14 and I support their decisions," Higuera said of the board's adoption.

The budget not only retains all staff and programs, but also includes other initiatives and comes in under the tax levy cap. The district's maximum allowable tax levy increase was 4.3 percent but the board managed to reduce the increase to 3.94 percent after initally projecting to be at the cap.

"The board really put a lot of thought and energy into offering the best educational programs for the district they could at the time and also considered the economic and fiscal constraints in the community," Higuera said. "Their decision to come in under the tax cap was reflective of their beliefs."

While full-day kindergarten is in the rear-view mirror for this upcoming budget, Unger noted that time taken to analyze the program was beneficial and it is something they will look at again in future budgets. They will also have to monitor whether or not they will still have the New York State Conversion Aid for the program in upcoming years.

"We’re going to keep in contact with legislators to find out the possibility of the aid going away," Unger said. "The good thing is we looked at it now in detail. It's important for the community to know that it’s now fully in our laps and we’re going to continue to look at it."

MP Majority April 08, 2013 at 11:22 AM
Education is a business....we are supposed to be in the BUSINESS of educating our children, and not in the business of subsidizing unions and administration first. Mr. Frawley, clearly you don't understand the principles of Economics, and the issues of accountability and metrics. FYI, this message board is read by many teachers, administrators, students, and taxpayers alike, and I'm here to open people's eyes and educate everyone, and not be a conned member of the masses who follows the herd blindly. And believe me, just because you added your name to your profile, doesn't make your argument any more believable. As a matter of fact, the argument could easily be made that you are looking to coo favors for yourself or your children in the district with your status-quo-is-acceptable stance. Keep paying your annual well-above-the-inflation-level-annual-taxes, and when MP is a ghost town and your home is worth half it's current value, you can continue to proudly post your name on this board.
John Doh April 08, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Who ever wants to post with their names you're entitled but to dismiss anonymous posts as somehow less valid is ignorant. Besides the aforementioned potential retaliation towards students there are also professional , personal & social reasons to remain anonymous. IMHO the TOTAL TRUTH comes out when you can post with no fear of reprisals . Keep in mind all you need is some off kilter demented , laid off , terminated school employee to wig out & cyber stalk or worse. Quite frankly I could care less who uses their names , the posts are either worthy or garbage & there is very little chance I'd be breaking bread with some stranger because they prefaces a post with his or her ID. If anything I prefer not to know. Less pompous that way. There you have it , the other side of the coin.
John Doh April 08, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Agree 100% the constant droning about revealing names is tiresome & you wonder if there is some other hidden agenda at play here. For instance I'll play the bad guy against the budget & see if I can expose the negative posters. Keep fighting the good fight MP M.
MP Majority April 08, 2013 at 02:57 PM
Agreed, John Doh. To make matters worse, some of the posters above (and you know who you are) don't even reside in Miller Place any more.....talk about the ultimate hypocrisy. There are many factors as to why people move, but the single biggest reason is typically that taxes are way too high.

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