Before the start of the regular meeting, the Board held a public hearing on the Alternative Veterans Property Tax Exemption, which was introduced this year by the state legislature. The state has given school districts the ability to offer a tax exemption for eligible veterans, but districts would receive no reimbursement from the state. Michael DeVito, chief operating officer, estimated the additional cost to other taxpayers would be $153,000, which would result in a shift of approximately $14 in taxes to each homeowner not eligible for the veterans’ exemption. Although Board members agreed with the exemption in principal, they opted not to adopt the exemption at this meeting. Board members agreed to wait until the state addresses certain issues with the current state law. The way the law is currently written, it makes it impossible for the Board to rescind the exemption once it is adopted.
The Board then opened the regular business meeting with an overview of the current elementary program, costs of the program and recommendations for next year. Dr. Kenneth Graham, the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, began by explaining that the guiding principles of program development are to provide opportunities, high expectations and appropriate support for all students. With help from Director of English Language Arts Joshua Anisansel, Director of Mathematics Cheriese Pemberton and East School Principal Sean Murray, he explained the curriculum components and enrichment activities that the district employs to meet the needs of all students. He also reviewed the district’s ongoing plan of action for curriculum revision and staff development to meet the Common Core Learning Standards.
Mr. DeVito then outlined details of the elementary program budget by function, and presented his recommendations to the board — which was to rollover the existing budget, with adjustments in scheduling to maximize the time of classroom instruction. He anticipated slight budget increases in the special areas to accommodate an additional section at East, as well as an increase in staffing for special education to meet IEP requirements. To view copies of the presentation, visit the School Board page of www.lbeach.org.
During the business portion of the meeting, Superintendent of Schools David Weiss recommended four administrators for tenure. The Board granted tenure to Executive Director of Pupil Personnel Services Sabrina Cantore, East School Principal Sean Murray, Middle School Principal Dr. Michele Natali and High School Vice Principal Dr. Timothy Piciullo.