June BOE Meeting
The Malverne Union Free School District (MUFSD) school board meeting took place at the H.T. Herber middle school auditorium. It was an evening full of award ceremonies. Teams and individuals were called to the podium in such a fast sequence that the board members were standing put and waited for arrival of the next group to take picture together. It’s a common practice in MUFSD to combine the BOE meetings with other sorts of activities. Unfortunately, this approach is detrimental to both—ceremonies and business, as it doesn’t allow enough time for either.
The business part of the evening started after 10 p.m. and was short. The agenda items were summed up and resolved at once. The items were mostly of a contractual character. A “Fiscal Management Goals” policy was adopted. Forty three teachers were assigned to various summer programs. Malverne Educational and Fitness Foundation donated $3,868 and Music Parents Association donated $8,000.
It was also resolved to fund the Capital Fund II (CP II) by transferring $2 mil. from the General Fund. This transfer and the transfer from the Tax Certiorari account will bring the CP II to a $2.5 mil. level. The Tax Certiorari account was also mentioned in connection with a transfer of $110K to the MHS repairs account. Earlier in winter, the budget review sessions disclosed the Tax Certiorari account disbursement at $200K, but following the trail of disbursements of the mentioned account totals $610K to date. Further, the BOE resolved to fund the Repair Reserve Fund and Retirement Contribution Reserve Fund by transferring $400K and $800K, respectively, from the General Fund. Although the Liability Reserve Fund was not mentioned during the 5 budget review sessions, the BOE transferred $500K of surplus money from the General Fund to this “previously” established fund.
The table incorporated in the June agenda also shows that repair accounts of individual schools are getting funded from various accounts: HTH $65K, DA $100K, MHS $200K. Davison Avenue school is getting the repair money ($100K) previously allocated to “instruction”. Could that contribute to one of the reasons why the instruction takes 85% of the district budget?
Most residents will recall receiving recently Mr. Curran’s direct mailing that specified the state school aid in the past 3 school years. When residents compare amounts in that mailing with the amounts the school district administration disclosed, they see that the amounts don’t match.
|State School Aid||B. Curran*||MUFSD*||Difference|
The amounts disclosed by the administration at the budget reviews are consistently lower. Possible explanation could be that the budget review is nothing but an estimation game. (There are no actual district expenses posted). It’s a common practice to maximize spending while minimizing revenue. It creates the surplus. Upon confirmation with Mr. Colaitis, assistant superintendent for district operations, the actual state school aid is available to school districts as soon as the state budget is announced. In recent years, the state budget is adopted on time, so the correct amount of the aid could be incorporated into the last school budget review session.
Mr. Curran, parent and Lynbrook resident, is actively involved in education. He attends parents public fora, PTA meetings, and BOE meetings. Perhaps, we could invite him to our BOE meeting. This year, it would be a 2-year anniversary since his August 2012 visit, when he congratulated our BOE members on their excellent work. Just one month after they disrespected all 3 communities and decided in the added agenda to extend the superintendent’s contract, award administrative salary raises, and lump sum bonuses.
Do you think residents would come in larger numbers to a BOE meeting, if Assemblyman Curran confirms his visit?