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Kindergarten Problems Continue

Transportation deadline could complicate search for alternatives.

As the last year of full-day kindergarten winds down in Huntington, parents and agencies are continuing to seek programs to fill their children's school day when September arrives.

Eileen Knauer, executive director of the , said the Y has one classroom available to accommodate 30 children total, 15 in each half-day session. "It's not cost effective. It's better to get a site to house four or five classes," she said. The Y is "working on a couple of leads but we're waiting to see," she said. I'm getting calls every day" from parents seeking class space.  She said that a lottery would most likely determine enrollment in the Y class.

But finding a class and getting there could be complicated by state law and district issues involving transportation. On April 11, the Huntington school board adopted the 2011-2012 budget that reduces kindergarten to a half-day schedule. State law establishes April 1 as the last day for parents requesting district-supplied transportation to private or parochial schools. So parents who are trying to shift their children out of public school to full-day programs in non-public  schools may have missed the opportunity to obtain transportation. Parents who move into the district have 30 days after establishing residency to request busing.

In response to a question, school superintendent John Finello said, "Since any request of this nature would be made after April 1, we would do a case by case review looking at the circumstances of each case and make a decision whether or not to grant an exception to the April 1 deadline."

He did not say what that determination would be based on.

The reduction in kindergarten hours is among several cutbacks in the proposed $109-million budget. On Monday, the trustees rejected an idea for the Y and Family Service League to offer kindergarten enrichment classes at Jack Abrams school, which the district stopped using for classes last summer because of concerns about crime in the neighborhood. They did approve a plan to host a town summer camp on the grounds.

Meanwhile, the school board approved a two-year extension of its contract with Huntington Coach Corp. The district said "contract prices will increase by one-half of the rise in the applicable Consumer Price Index in the first year of the new contract. Prices will increase by the full CPI in the second year" of the contract.

The school board's proposed budget for 2011-2012 sets aside $8,821,776 for contract transportation.

Voters will cast ballots Tuesday on the budget and the choice of two trustees to fill spots on the school board.

David Livingston May 15, 2011 at 03:17 PM
50% turn rate on mailers? Where is the action? There is over crowding in the school district, so it looks like not enough action was taken. Open up today's Newsday. That is proof that little or no action is being taken. So lets walk through this... Parent gets a class list from the school. Parent sends out birthday invitations to the class list and roughly half of them get returned. The HUFSD sends out correspondence to these same addressed and gets the same result. Half of these mailers get returned, and nobody bothers to lift a finger to investigate. - This turns into a Fiduciary issue to protect the tax payers. There are more students in the HUFSD than paying units. Evidence in today's Newsday. HUFSD is in bad shape. There is a steady decline in test scores, and it is failing amongst their peers. My kids go to private school, and we are parents as well as my children couldn't be happier. Would I like to send my kids to public school? Sure, but not at this juncture.
Sue May 15, 2011 at 03:17 PM
Unfortunately we are all dreaming that we can afford to pay for a budget that can continue to support full day k and all the other cuts. Paying taxes to run this district on the backs of the few can't cut it anymore. The well is dry. The teachers need to help our district just as others have in other towns and negotiate or they will force more and more out of their jobs. The state needs to give long island our fair share of support. Our town board needs to step up and treat our district as they do their own home towns of Melville, north port, centerport and huh.
JSC May 15, 2011 at 03:47 PM
I'm saying that just because the mail gets returned, isn't proof that the student doesn't live there! So what is your problem here? That these people don't pay enough taxes for you? Well, that's a town issue if they are living illegally in a single family home. That the district didn't personally tell you that they've already looked into this? Or that when the child registered for school they had proof that they lived at that address? The district cannot question any student's legal status in this country. And if they bring proof of residency, they live here and we have to educate them. So I'm getting that your problem is that there are actually "those" children even here in our schools. They can't afford to go to your private school so you don't have to worry about them being near your kids. Right? So at what "juncture" will you bring your children back to Huntington schools? When "those" kids are gone, obviously. Unfortunately, you just showed your true colors sir. Shame on you.
David Livingston May 15, 2011 at 05:27 PM
Play the race card you why don't you. The juncture I am talking about are the Newsday rankings I have referenced. You see, I make a living where I am rewarded by my performance, unlike some. I look at performance when buying a car, appliances, or anything using Consumer Reports or any independent service. When it comes to schools, I do the same. There are services aside from Newsday to assess how good a public school is. HUFSD performance is not good in comparison to its peers. Relative performance to it's peers says it all. Now unfortunately, YOU just showed YOUR true colors. Because I do not like the HUFSD does not mean I am a racist. If you want to send your kid to a high school that is in the lower quartile rankings amongst it's peers, then be my guest. I won't, and I don't.
Patched Out 2 May 15, 2011 at 05:45 PM
David, Just curious...... how do you feel about the financial performance of the current school board given that they have the worst ROI of any of the districts on the north shore of LI. http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/01/educational_productivity/ Care to comment on that since it is a performance measure?

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