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School Officials Ask Residents to Take Tax Cap Survey

Survey from Suffolk County Superintendents Association quizes taxpayers' knowledge of the tax cap, rank importance of different programs.

Hauppauge school officials are looking to district taxpayers for input on making tough decisions for the 2012-13 school budget through a tax cap survey.

District officials are asking all residents to take a few minutes to fill out a tax cap survey created by the Suffolk County Superintendents Association, in combined effort with K-12 Insight, by Feb. 3. The free survey quizzes district taxpayers about their general knowledge of the tax cap and asks them to rank what programs are most important to preserve next year.

"Take a look at the survey and share it with people you know," said Superintendent Patricia Sullivan-Kriss at the Jan. 24 board meeting. "It is my understanding we will be able to get the results both for our community and Suffolk County as a whole."

Residents were notified by an email blast late last week and a link to the tax cap survey is posted on the school district's website.

The six-page survey can be broken down into several segments: a section on knowledge of the tax cap, ranking of school programs, comments, and demographics.

The introduction to the tax cap survey reads:

As Superintendents of Long Island school districts, we are deeply concerned that forced budget reductions will negatively affect our students. As you know, a property tax cap has been put into place to bring relief to New York residents in these tough times. While the tax cap is meant to help our communities, we are concerned that reductions in programs and services will decrease our ability to teach our children.

In the first section about the tax cap, residents are asked to answer six yes-or-no questions about the tax cap and its impact on local districts. One question reads, "Are you aware that more than 70% of the budget is spent on providing direct services to students? This part of the budget covers the salaries and benefits of teaching staff."

Next, under the section titled "Potential Cuts to Programs and Services," responders are asked to choose what they feel is the most important of 11 educational programs and five extra-curricular or non-instructional programs. Parent music pick between educational programs including: elementary class size, instructional programs, occupational education, secondary class size, music, Advanced/College courses, science research, art, high school electives, library media and foreign language programs.

District taxpayers are then given the freedom to respond how they would make cuts if they were superintendent of the district, in an open response box allowing up to 750 characters.

Hauppauge school officials have estimated the district faces making potentially , if staying within the new 2 percent tax levy cap. If the district proposes a higher tax levy, they will need to get 60 percent of voters to approve the higher budget.

Kriss said she plans to publicly present her recommended 2012-12 budget to Hauppauge Board of Education at its Feb. 28 meeting.

BillLongisland February 03, 2012 at 07:56 AM
It seems Smithtown School District is set to hire one...as of a couple of days ago... You will Love how they parse words about how the PR firm says, at the end of the article,...the rest of the whole article posted below..." He wasn't sure what his company's specific tasks would be in the district." Small, yet significant changes for Smithtown schools Print copies of agenda no longer available at Board of Education meetings; PR firm will handle communication By Monica Gleberman & Rachel Shapiro Times of Smithtown January 25, 2012 | 06:53 PM The Smithtown school district will soon enlist the services of a PR firm to act as a communication liaison between the district's officials and community members and the press. Superintendent Edward Ehmann made the announcement during the Board of Education's Tuesday meeting, also noting that the district would no longer provide print copies of the BOE agenda at meetings. Instead, attendees can access the papers on the district's website, which will be posted no later than one day before a meeting. Hard copies of the agenda will be available for review in the clerk's office the day of the meeting. The superintendent said any last-minute changes to the agenda would not be reflected in the online version, changes Ehmann said he hopes to keep to a minimum. http://www.northshoreoflongisland.com/Articles-News-i-2012-01-26-91150.112114-sub-Small-yet-significant-changes-for-Smithtown-schools.html
BillLongisland February 03, 2012 at 07:58 AM
Part 2 of the article .. Ehmann said the district is working on a deal with a PR firm, Headline Communications Inc. The move comes after the district has had to deal with multiple press inquiries into the district's consideration of closing an elementary school, budget talks, millions in lost state building aid as a result of a filing error, and most recently, an alleged student-on-student assault. Headline Communications President Michael C. Savino "approached the district and requested that we strike an agreement in which he would provide public relations services to the district free of charge. We are dotting the I's and crossing the T's on an agreement," Ehmann said Tuesday. Savino, who attended the meeting, said his company isn't officially on board yet, but it has a lot of ties to the district. Savino said one of his associates graduated from the school district and his business manager currently has two children who attend one of the Smithtown high schools. "We are kind of blended in," Savino said. "Eastern Suffolk BOCES approved us to work with schools. We decided to offer the school district our services free of charge. Smithtown school district is a dynamic school district to say the least with everything that goes on." Savino said the agreement has to be "cleaned up" before his firm gets on board with the district and said it should be signed within a couple of days. He wasn't sure what his company's specific tasks would be in the district.
BillLongisland February 03, 2012 at 07:59 AM
The whole article can be found here... Small, yet significant changes for Smithtown schools Print copies of agenda no longer available at Board of Education meetings; PR firm will handle communication By Monica Gleberman & Rachel Shapiro Times of Smithtown January 25, 2012 | 06:53 PM http://www.northshoreoflongisland.com/Articles-News-i-2012-01-26-91150.112114-sub-Small-yet-significant-changes-for-Smithtown-schools.html
BillLongisland February 03, 2012 at 08:23 AM
It seems they are already a client, Giant's dad, of something called INFINITE CAMPUS... http://hauppauge.k12.ny.us/index.pl?iid=5919 Here INFINITE CAMPUS explains it's...ahem... "mission" in regard to schools...sounds like a "PR FIRM" to me...how about you ? Building Lasting Relationships After your Infinite Campus go live, you will be assigned a client executive (CE) from Infinite Campus or from a partner. Your CE is there to assist with purchasing premium products, arranging additional training and acts as your voice within the company. CEs have broad access to company and product information, and the ability to connect your district with the right resources. Client Executives and You After implementation, CEs begin their work to transition districts into long-term customers – partner with us to achieve our mission to Transform K12 Education®. Infinite Campus hires CEs to build and maintain strong working relationships with you. It is a valued role in our company and one that grows stronger as our customer base increases. They’re just a phone call (or email) away. And the best part: there is no charge for this personalized assistance. It’s about service. It’s about returning emails and phone calls. It’s having someone facilitate user groups, communicate updates, and be an advocate for you. http://www.infinitecampus.com/pages/support_menu/client-services.php
BillLongisland February 03, 2012 at 08:25 AM
More of what INFINITE CAMPUS provides schools...If it walks like a duck, it's a duck ! The Power of Client Executives Manage relationships with key people in the district or state Organize user group meetings Answer general questions Deliver information to different Infinite Campus departments, and if needed, gather different departments together to meet your needs Provide you with additional information regarding Infinite Campus premium products Work with Campus Training Specialists to identify training opportunities and promotions Offer helpful suggestions Whether the CE is based in the Infinite Campus corporate office, on-site in their region, or as a channel partner, they are a valuable resource for you. Call your Campus Client Executive today! http://www.infinitecampus.com/pages/support_menu/client-services.php

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