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Commack $171M School Budget Passes By Wide Margin

Despite bitter budget season, 2.6 percent tax levy approved.

Commack voters passed its $171 million budget for the 2012-13 school year on Tuesday by a vote of 2,977 to 1,723 despite a heated budget season leading up to the vote.

By passing the budget, the average homeowner within the Commack School District will pay a tax levy of 2.6 percent, which Commack school officials estimated as the average district taxpayer paying $239 to $258 more per year. 

Also decided in the election, incumbent trustee Deborah Guber beat challenger Daniel Fusco for a three-year term on the Board of Education starting July 1, 2012 by a vote of 2,453 to 2,012.

Under the adopted $171 million budget, Commack School District will lay off approximately 37 teachers, one administrator, two secretaries, six custodians and three teaching assistants. These numbers may change as the district is still in negotiations with several of its bargaining units.  

The budget will also cut 14 co-curricular clubs at Commack High School and five after-school clubs at Commack Middle School. The number of hours for Intramural sports will be reduced at the intermediate schools. 

The district will move forward with a $18 million Energy Performance Project that will bring a range of improved energy efficiency units to the school district from lighting to new roofs and energy management systems under Johnson Controls. The district will also enter a Computer Enhancement Project with BOCES to offer additional technology and more computers for students. 

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Re May 18, 2012 at 01:43 AM
That group of people voted the secret sale down. That group of people -2500 of them signed their names to a petition to preserve the farm as a farm. If James did not add almost $100000 in salary benefits a few repairs could have been done. That farm could be part of the curriculum teaching agriculture and hosting many community meetings. . The district never went for grants although Boces got $500000 in NY state grants for renovation of the barns .By the way a school board member in the 1960s talked Marion Carll into giving it to the school district. IT was not meant to be sold for houses and he school district could have Given the farm to the county or the town of Huntington. They never did. The heirs will probably get it back. anyway.
GM May 18, 2012 at 02:11 AM
RealConcerns ( clipped from Newsday ) While your calling the board out for lacking the backbone to stand up to the teacher's union (whom I agree believe in last in first out) take a look at all of the administrative positions earning six figure salaries in this district. While you're at it, observe how many duplicative positions exist. One disturbing find was a very well paid position: "Director of Public Relations". What possible reason can be given to have this position in a public school system. Doesn't the board speak for the district? Given the current state of the economy and the reduction of state funding we should be eliminating positions such as this that we don't need (or ever needed). While you're mulling this over, think about why this position didn't make it to the chopping block while 36 actual teaching positions did. Not only does this board not perform well in collective bargaining, it casts a blind eye to the many non-essential administrative positions that could and should be cut to achieve budget savings.
Paul May 18, 2012 at 02:19 AM
When your school district gets so much bad press in the local newspapers, on local television news and in the national news for the highest salaries and pensions in the country, you bet your bottom dollar you need a public relations person to smooth things over in th community.
Friend of the Farm May 18, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Not to mention the amount of repairs or improvements that could have been made using the money the district spent paying attorneys for the secret sale ,RFP's and other wasteful nonsense.
Arthur Reilly Jr June 02, 2012 at 06:34 PM
It is unclear why one would resort to name calling and accusation without giving one example. Please feel free to list here what "Lies Mr. Fusco told". This type character assassination usually indicates an agenda by those casting stones. Mr. Fusco has brought up many good points and disclosed many budget items and practices unknown to most Commack tax payers. Name calling is beneath civilized public discourse. Has anyone dared address the pension (Which is the highest in the State system) of retired Superintendants? Let us argue facts and resist the childishness and demonization of name calling. You can do better.

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