BOCES board considers school closure

The Nassau BOCES board is considering a plan to close a large budget gap by closing facilities on Long Island.

Jean Desposito, of Malverne, is among the scores of parents making an appeal to save the Nassau BOCES Long Island High School for the Arts. BOCES officials told parents on Tuesday that they are recommending the closure of the Syosset complex and the Doshi STEM Institute.

BOCES Superintendent Robert Dillon says the primary reasons behind the closures are declining enrollment and a lack of funding.

The arts school is Long Island's only public high school for aspiring screen and stage performers. It provides classes in screenwriting, theater production and animation graphics. The Doshi STEM Institute offers specialized study in science research, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Desposito says that shutting down the programs will mean closing the doors on valuable learning opportunities for her son and other students.

Singer Billy Joel has come out in support of parents and students by writing a letter asking the board not to shut down the school. In the letter, Joel said music programs were critical in launching his musical career, and future generations should have similar opportunities.

Faced with mounting opposition from parents and students, the BOCES board decided to hold off on voting on the closure proposal.

The deadline for a new funding and enrollment plan is March 15, 2016.

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