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Update: Abrams Dilemma Could Double Budget Concerns in Huntington

Reopening of the school would add nearly $700,000 to projected school budget deficit.

Saddled with looming budget cuts due to state-mandated tax cap limitations, the cost of reopening the Jack Abrams school could nearly double the budget deficit facing the Huntington school district.

"Right now, we are in a $864,000 hole," said Huntington School Superintendent Jim Polansky to a large crowd at a meeting in the  school auditorium Monday.

The 2012-13 budget projection does not include an estimated $678,380 needed to reopen Abrams as a sixth grade center, according to Polansky.

"As we present these I want to be clear that if the board were to decide to do anything with these costs, they would have to be added to that differential," said Polansky.

Polansky said the costs associated with opening the building as a sixth grade center would be the least expensive option. The school was  by the school board.

"These numbers are real, they are responsible and they represent something that was not certainly an overestimate but one that would be a rational means of opening a building," said Polansky.

Personnel costs to reopen the school would be incurred at an annual rate of $535,058, according to Polansky.

One-time, non-personnel costs would be $143,322 to replace many items Polansky said was transfered from the school to other district locations.

"There has been alot taken out of this building to fill in gaps in other buildings because it was available," said Polansky. "Why pay for it if was here? We can always replace it if needed."

The next budget session is set for March 19 at Jack Abrams school to discuss employee benefits, fund transfers and capital.

Update added March 7, 2011: "No assistant principal would be hired. The item concerns converting the Woodhull School assistant principal position to a principal's position for JAS. The AP at Woodhull would be replaced by a dean there. The other dean is for JAS. The librarian and nurse figures include their benefits, etc. There is a librarian on the excess list that would be recalled if the position were to be re-established." — Jim Hoops, information officer Huntington school district.

JAS Restoration Costs:

Personnel Costs
Assistant Principal to Principal $4,800 Deans (2) $231,335 Librarian $115,668 SEARCH Teacher $64,903 Nurse $47,516 Security Staff $35,747 Teacher Assistants $23,092 Building Aids $40,386 3-Hour Monitors $36,514 Teacher Savings ($64,903) Personnel Subtotal $535,058 Non-Personnel Costs Computer Hardware/Software $21,000 Projectors $6,930 SMARTBoards $23,400 Student Furniture $7,846 Office Furniture $2,428 Kiln $2,800 Supplies $2,000 Security Cameras $76,918 Non-Personnel Subtotal $143,322 Total $678,380
Old Guy March 11, 2012 at 11:46 PM
News flash, David: You don't live in the South Bronx, or anywhere near it. Bullets do not "fly" in Huntington Station. There have been shootings--more than anyone except for the SCPD is comfortable with--but they are not near Jack Abrams and not during the day. They don't touch your life or the lives of your kids. Most of us feel safe here. If you don't feel safe, you should move somewhere where you do feel safe. I wonder how many blacks and Hispanics will live there. It's clear to me that that race and not safety is your issue.
2 Turn Tables March 11, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Wrong again Old Guy. They put Shot Spotter in HS because bullets fly. They didn't put it again to stop jay walking. I feel very safe where I live. Parts of HS are in bad shape. Because bullets fly at night and not during the day shouldn't be justification to open the school, or to claim it is a safe environment. The fact that they don't touch my kids lives or my life for that matter is a blessing. You are the one that made the accusation of racism, which is baseless. Gang activity is at unprecedented levels in HS. Stop the nonsensical accusations. You lost this debate due to your last lifeline throw using the race card, which is used when you checkmated. More bullets fly in Huntington Station that in HB, CSH and HV. I don't live in HS, but I get the backwash of it's problems. You sound like one of these left over Woodstock people who have never adapted to reality in 43 years.
Old Guy March 12, 2012 at 12:10 AM
David Livingston, you sound like an angry, racist man who doesn't belong here.
Ron Gault March 12, 2012 at 03:06 PM
One issue we are faced with is class size. When the class reaches the 28th student it seems to become cumbersome to maintain discipline and transition the class from one activity to the next. Couple the class size issue with half day kindergarten and you have a situation where children who enter the school years with little family support and little English have trouble keeping up. Who cares? That's not my kid, one might say. But that is your kids future neighbor, not to mention a future voter. We need all our students to graduate employable. And, selfishly, there is no quicker way to improve your housing value than by creating top notch public schools. Jack Abrams, with the police support and attention given to it, was the safest school on long island. Could something terrible happen? Of course. Was every reasonable precaution put in place? It certainly seemed so. Every area of the budget is going to have to be addressed from cuts in Administration, to changes to the teacher contract, firing ineffective personnel (wasted dollars), increasing taxes, eliminating waste, controlling transportation costs etc... But at the end of the day the goal should be to have the best school district on Long Island.
michelle March 27, 2012 at 05:38 PM
because they have their own math

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