Bellmore-Merrick CHSD Budget Recap: $133 Million Means Job, Program Cuts

Need to catch up before you vote? See this recap.

The Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District Board of Education proposed a $133 million budget for the 2012-13 school year.

Key points

  • The district is anticipating eliminating six administrative positions, eight teaching positions, three permanent subs, late buses for the high schools and will be shrinking extracurricular activities.
  • It is estimated that the cost per student for the district is $20,158 per head. 
  • The CHSD will be getting approximately $16.76 million in state aid – a 4.8 percent decrease from the 2011-12 school year.
  • The school district is proposing a 1.3 percent increase to the budget for the 2012-13 school year, which should stand at about $133 million.
  • About $2 million in cuts had to be made to keep the budget below the tax levy cap.


Board seats

Board seats in all four districts that make up the CHSD are up for grabs.

Merrick has five people running for three seats. Incumbent Susan Schwartz belongs to the CHSD board and is running for her seat again. Dr. Nancy Kaplan, also an incumbent, will be seeking re-election. Dr. Pamela Banks, Eric Streznec and Sigal Negrin will be running against the incumbents. It is 'at large' voting.

In North Bellmore, the incumbents are Grace Cramsie and Joe Perrone. Nina Lanci, former president of the CHSD board, Marc Berkowitz, Peter Mayo and Greg Bashaw will challenge them for their seats.

Neil Brown and Steve Enella are running unopposed for seats in the North Merrick School District. Neither Brown nor Enella sit on the CHSD board.

Where to vote

Please report to your elementary schools to vote. Hours and polling places should be available on all of the district websites. 

For more information, see the school website.

linda smith May 11, 2012 at 03:05 AM
You resorted to name calling -- it is obvious and now you are trying to backpedal. You have not offended me, rather, you have embarrased yourself. As to your comments regarding "jealousy" -- I have two pensions coming to me when I retire -- except my pensions were earned and the taxpayers are not paying my pensions, they are private ones earned from blood, sweat and tears in the private sector. Unfortunately, your opinions are so liberal, you have been blinded and cannot see the forest for the trees. You have revealed yourself as an administrator, teacher or union employee who is disgruntled and angry that you can no longer be living off the fat of the taxpayers funding. Sorry, I will not be responding to any of your delusional posts. Case closed. I win.
Merrick7 May 11, 2012 at 09:46 AM
TKK, you did come on this thread with an unkind and aggressive tone. Please try to be more respectful on the discussion board. Despite what you believe about commenters, claiming that the majority do not think as any of us do. As an example, I vote and attend SD meetings in merrick and bellmore-merrick. Also the budget has not won 60 percent in a few years. Now with late buses and extra curriculars being reduced, the liklihood of passage will decline. Regal made this point in her presentation if you attended it. Also if you are from the community, which I am not sure if you are or you are just a union teacher commenting on various patches. You may hear people who constantly talk about the budget at Bagel Boss or Xtreme Gym, Nicholas James, La Piazza, these people also do read the patch. So as a reply to your comment before your exchange with Linda, yes people do read this and think this way in the community and it is unlikely it will pass with above 60 percent. Although all of us I believe agreed it was likely to pass this year, but not so in my opinion next year if these cuts deepen. Also as I said pensions are set by the state by law, but can you please cite your source which states they cannot renegotiate to contribute more? Because it was my understanding when I contacted the State Regents office this morning that among other questions I had unions can negotiate to contribute more than the required amount.
TKK May 12, 2012 at 01:47 AM
I am sorry if you feel that i was disrespectful. Perhaps I was angry when I first posted because some of the things said about teachers were offensive. Regardless, let me respond to your points. I agree that many people in the community feel the way the posters do. All I said is that the majority of the people (at least the majority of those who vote) feel differently, because the budget passes. Regarding the late buses and other cuts. I understand that maybe community members will be frustrated and vote no, but all that would mean is that more services would have to be cut. So I don't see how that would serve the interests of those who are upset with some services already being cut. Regarding contributions to pensions, I didn't say that teachers are not allowed to contribute more. I just fail to understand why any working person would voluntarily lower his/her take-home income? Would you? How can we expect other people to do what we ourselves would (probably) not do?
Steve May 15, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Are you suggesting not paying teachers well? Should teachers not be able to afford to live on Long Island? Even better lets give them poor salaries so that people dont want to become teachers and then you have idiots teaching your children. Think about it. If its such an important job shouldnt we pay well qualified people to do it?
Merrick7 May 16, 2012 at 06:34 AM
O I did not personally but the other commenter did. But yes from my view it was offensive from the outset. You can be annoyed about people's opinions about teachers, but the point is to keep the discussion civil. In response to the community if you follow percentage passage it has been decreasing in percentage points each year. This year was 51 percent passage that is the lowest in five years and it has been consistently declining. So those who vote's view is changing. Yes more services would be cut but it sends a message to board members who have not had a failed budget in over 20 years that they must negotiate tougher with union teachers. It says the first things to be cut should be administrative pay and instructional. The failed budget says not enough has been done to prepare an acceptable budget. It should be reworked. That is the same reason a tax cap was instituted and evaluation system with higher value in ratings. It is to force severe cuts in services because contracts cannot be altwred to arouse the majority to respond to the contracts and blame teachers for failed budgets and obscene costs in taxes. Well getting into the pension contribution, first would I personally? No but then again I am not in a public service job. It is a service to the community it is based on taxing the community. So yes I should be there to help others. Also where it has been done it is usually an exchange for a different benefit


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