The Kings Park Central School district $92 million budget for the 2018-19 school year got the stamp of approval from voters, 1,189 votes to 550 votes. The budget contains a 4.09 percent increase, or approximately $3.6 million more than the current year. It willincrease the tax levy on district homeowners by 2.73 percent.
“This community is very supportive of education and the job that we’ve done here in Kings Park,” Superintendent Timothy Eagen said. “It’s a very supportive budget, and we have some strategic adds and supports in the budget,” “I’m just really happy that we can go forward with the spending plan that the board of education and I have carefully developed over the last couple of months.”
Kings Park budget by the numbers
$92M budget: 1,189 Yes votes to 550 No votes
Board of Education
Kevin Johnston: 1,383 votes
Diane Nally: 1,281 votes
Darryl Valinchus: 530 votes
The adopted budget features plans to increase security measures. These include $100,000 dedicated to the creation of security vestibules in the main entryways of all Kings Park school buildings. It provides funding for additional security cameras and the school administrators plan on having the teachers download an app to their phones called Rave Panic Button, which will enable them to have a direct line to police, fire and emergency medical service at the push of a button.
Eagen said that the new budget maintains all current curriculum, classes, clubs and activities while adding new courses. There will be funding for a new AP Capstone Research program, an exploratory course where students learn to do research in any number of fields and synthesize that research into research papers. Other new courses include an American Sign Language elective for eighth-graders, new math programs, robotics, computer programming and coding.
Kings Park board of education
Kings Park board of education incumbents Kevin Johnston, receiving 1,383 votes, and current Vice President Diane Nally, receiving 1,281 votes, were re-elected to their seats. Challenger Darryl Valinchus fell short with 530 votes in Tuesday’s election.
“This is a $92 million budget we’re talking about and very few people show up for the school board meetings.”
— Kevin Johnston
Johnston said the board of education race remained civil throughout the process and hoped he would be able to reach out to Valinchus to tap into his knowledge of security procedures to aid the district.
Valinchus is a 15-year Kings Park resident and is a retired sergeant of the New York Police Department’s intelligence bureau. He currently owns a business as an expert witness providing services to law enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices.
Johnston also expressed some disappointment regarding the lack of turnout at the board of education meetings.
“We would like to have more input from people in the community,” he said Tuesday night as polls closed. “This is a $92 million budget we’re talking about and very few people show up for the school board meetings. I think over the last few years with Diane [Nally], we’ve accomplished a great deal providing for the students in Kings Park but we still have a ways to go.”
Pam DeFord, Kings Park’s board of education president wanted to express her gratitude.
“I look forward to the continued work that the board has started and to continue to do [what’s] in the best interest of our students and community,” DeFord said. “Kings Park is in a great place, and we’ll continue to show our Kings Park pride.”