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Sunday, April 20, 2014
Vote ‘yes’ on Rockville Centre school budget

The Herald encourages residents to approve the 2013-14 school district budget in next Tuesday’s election.

The spending plan is a reasonable one, with measured increases in key areas. There is no exorbitant spending in this budget; virtually everything in it is lean and necessary. It manages to keep the tax levy increase below the state’s allowable cap, while adding a boys’ swim team at the high school.

The district estimates that the tax increase for the average homeowner will be about $350 a year. That would be lower were it not for unfunded state mandates and increases to employee benefit plans that are out of the hands of the district.

Re-elect school board Trustee John O’Shea

John O’Shea is the right choice for the Board of Education. As an incumbent, he has experience. But that’s not what sets him apart. It’s the degree to which he cares for students and the quality of their education.

Some community members have insinuated that Lynda Rubino, whose children attend private school, has some ulterior motive for wanting to be on the school board. That’s completely unfounded. Rubino proved to us that she cares about the education that students in Rockville Centre schools receive. And her experience as an accountant would be a boon to the board.

But when we interviewed Rubino, it seemed that running for the board was an idea that occurred to her only recently. She acknowledged that she had been to few meetings, and seemed to lack knowledge of some key issues facing the district, like teacher evaluations.

Rubino told us that, win or lose, she plans to attend many more Board of Education meetings. We hope she will, and we look forward to seeing her there. If she comes back next year knowing more about the district’s challenges, she will be a much stronger candidate.

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