Now that the $35.6 million Franklin Square School District budget has passed, Superintendent Patrick Manley told the Herald that his first order of business would be to finalize plans for a pre-kindergarten program. Those plans will be more fully developed by next week.
Necessary funds for the program were factored into the calculation of the spending plan, which passed on May 21 by a vote of 979 to 591. The budget is just over $1.1 million more than the current spending plan, an increase of 3.28 percent, over half of which is attributable to state-mandated retirement costs. The tax levy increase is 3.37 percent, the maximum allowable under the state’s cap. The average home will see a tax increase of approximately $107 next year.
The pre-K program, which will be implemented for the first time in 2013-14, will be a half-day program for children who have turned 4 or will do so by December. Manley said that putting the program in place will better prepare children for the Common Core curriculum.
Board of Education President Joseph Armocida and Trustee Jerome Monaco were returned to their respective posts in the vote on May 21. Both ran unopposed.
Armocida, a Franklin Square resident for the past 24 years, has served on the board since 2001, and has been president since 2006. He agreed with Manley about the importance of the pre-K program. “This is an exciting new program that will help position our students to excel when they start kindergarten and for their entire academic carriers in Franklin Square,” he told the Herald, adding, “We are also looking forward to be able to maintain all of the programs that we have been able to put in place over the last few years.”
Monaco has lived in Franklin Square for over 20 years, and was a member of the school district’s Citizens’ Budget Advisory Committee for four years before being appointed to the school board.
“It was a great night for the students of the Franklin Square school district,” Armocida said. “Our community came out and fully supported the budget so that we can continue providing our students the excellent education that Franklin Square has come to expect.”