Voters in Malverne and West Hempstead braved the heat on Tuesday to support their respective school districts at the polls.
Malverne residents approved their district’s $ 51. 2 million budget by a close margin – 599 to 439 – and re-elected Danielle Hopkins to the Board of Education as she defeated Jan Kasal, 589 to 383. Jack Tulley, who ran unopposed, was elected to succeed Gina Genti on the board and garnered 625 votes. West Hempstead voters also approved their district’s $55.67 million budget – 793 to 428 – re-elected Karen Brohm and Rudolf Schindler and elected Vincent Trocchia and Jennifer Fennell Kurko, who all ran unopposed, to the board.
"We thought [the result of this year's budget vote] was a positive outcome," said Superintendent of Malverne Schools Dr. James Hunderfund, who outlined his plan for more college preparation courses in the high school curriculum. "We tried to offer a budget that could provide students with resources for the future and this [outcome] ensures that [these courses] will be in place next year."
Hopkins thanked the public for coming out and supporting her at the polls, adding, “I’m just happy that the budget passed – that’s the main concern.”
In Malverne, voters also approved Proposition 2, which will grant the district $1.6 million in capital reserve funds to institute improvements at Malverne High School and Howard T. Herber Middle School. Both schools will upgrade their bathrooms and classrooms and replace clock systems, while the middle school will expand its cafeteria and upgrade sound and video systems in its auditorium. The proposition passed by a margin of 559 to 330.
West Hempstead's approved 2013-2014 spending plan will also include $400,000 in capital expenditures for roof repair and masonry work at West Hempstead High School. In the event that any money is left over from these projects, the surplus would be used to fund other improvement projects in the district.
“I hope that our kids have something to look forward to in the 2013 – 2014 year,” said Malverne High School PTSA President Joyce Berry, who has two kids in both schools, respectively. “What it comes down to is all about the kids.”
Malverne’s approved budget had the second lowest tax levy increase in 15 years for the district at 3.66 percent and a budget-to-budget increase of 5.45 percent from the current spending plan. West Hempstead’s budget reached the tax cap limit at 3.55 percent and faced a budget-to-budget increase of .88 percent.