In District 13, we believe that, from an educational and student health point of view, incumbent Milagros Vicente has proven that she deserves a nod for her advocacy. She has vowed to address bullying, both physical and online, and is seeking a way to deliver prekindergarten for district parents — a crucial service for those trying to make ends meet under stifling property taxes.
She has also promised, should she be appointed to the Central High School District board, to help parents better navigate Valley Stream’s complicated school system. Beyond that, however, we hope she, along with others, pushes for more streamlining of the neighborhood’s four school districts.
District 13 challenger Anthony Bonelli is correct when he says that school administrators and teachers in Nassau are paid nearly twice the national average for their services, and with the skyrocketing cost of living on Long Island, personnel costs — which make up nearly 80 percent of District 13’s 2019-20 school budget — deserve serious rethinking. We need more bang for our buck. Still, we see no reason to unseat Vicente.
District 13 budget is reasonable
With a $1.6 million, or 3.1 percent, budget increase over the current year, District 13’s budget is reasonable considering the challenges of union personnel costs.
With the new focus on student mental health and digital learning tools nationwide, dedicating resources to these efforts would seem necessary.
Additionally, as the weather becomes increasingly unpredictable and the summers hotter, taxpayers may want to consider authorizing the district’s use of $300,000 for air conditioning.