Parents in Greenlawn push for full-day kindergarten

Nine Long Island school districts have proposed budgets that exceed their allowable tax cap, forcing residents to make a tough choice during budget votes on Tuesday.

One of the districts exceeding their tax cap is Harborfields schools in Greenlawn, which has proposed a 1.52 percent tax levy increase.

Parents from the school district were out in full force Saturday to encourage the community to vote yes on the budget, which would include full-day kindergarten, additional special education teachers and more electives at the high school.

The proposed increase exceeds the district's tax-cap limit of 0.37 percent , so the budget needs a super majority of 60 percent to pass.

"We are still below the 2 percent," said PTA president Mary Seligmann. "It's the lowest budget that has ever been presented to Harborfields in the past 20 years."

Residents Joseph and Eleanor Costello have lived in the district for 40 years and told News 12 Long Island that they are not supporting the school budget. They say they're in favor of full-day kindergarten, but believe the district can find other ways within the budget to fund the program.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's property tax cap was signed into law back in 2011. Supporters say the cap is a way of controlling property tax rates, which rank among the highest in the nation.

Voters in 124 school districts across Long Island will go to the polls on Tuesday, May 17.


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