A gleeful performance of "The Little Red Hen" by Syosset students had proud parents glowing at Monday night's Syosset School Board meeting. Students recited from a script to show how far they had come in reading comprehension.
Once the applause had died down, it was back to business. A big question on everyone's minds:
Where is the budget?
What resident Frederic Gang called a "lack of information" is, according to the board, an effort to be as precise as possible in 2011-2012.
"How come other districts have more explanations and we're not getting it here," asked Frederic Gain, concerned with other residents who may come to their own conclusions. "It's fine to wait for accurate information but a complete lack of information means people will go on what they have."
In previous years, budget hearings and workshops would have been held by this point in the school year. Syosset has not had one and says they will not until Albany produces the right numbers.
"[Any district] giving out numbers is talking in generalities," responded Superintendent Carole Hankin.
"To give a budget with [an estimation] would be irresponsible. If we gave a budget now and it showed a line of minus a million, the hysteria might be enormous."
The reality of the situation is that no district has been provided with final cap calculations from Albany. The state has taken more time to calculate the numbers now that the tax cap has taken effect. Hankin said a meeting of all districts takes place in the coming days where the board hopes to get more information on the realistic numbers for next year.
"We could talk about it…give estimations…but that would be a disservice. The public needs to know what's really happening."
Board Education: Restarting Hearts a Priority for the District
For ten years, Syosset schools have had automatic external defibrillators, or AEDs, installed throughout the district. Six months before the state mandated the practice, Syosset installed 19 AEDs throughout the district. Today, there are 45. In addition, a portable AED is brought to all athletic and school sponsored events.
Do you know how to work an AED? Check out the simple steps on HowToDoTHings.com.