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School District Plans Early Budget Presentations

PTA visits, question-and-answer video aimed at reaching as many people as possible prior to the 2012-13 budget season.

The Three Village Central School District's interim superintendent said Tuesday he is recommending that the district float a tax levy increase greater than the state's threshold of 2 percent, and is using multiple communication methods to get that message out ahead of the upcoming budget season.

Neil Lederer – whose interim contract with the district is set to – has plans to shoot a question-and-answer video on Tuesday, which he described as an unscripted discussion of the upcoming budget season that will be available on the district's website. The video will be produced by Syntax Communications under its current contract with the district for public relations services.

Lederer, who spent seven years as the superintendent of the Lindenhurst school district, said he's never done a video like this before.

"The goal is to get information out to as large a population as possible," he said, "because most people are really not aware and informed about what the tax cap will mean to the instructional program here in the district."

An automated phone message to all homes in the district will accompany the video when it is added to the website.

Lederer said he also has plans to visit PTA and SEPTA groups throughout the district to brief parents on what he said are precarious circumstances surrounding the upcoming budget season. He visited on Wednesday, will visit on Thursday, and at a later date. It's something he has traditionally done after the proposed budget has been determined, rather than before.

"I'm recommending going above the cap, above the threshold, and I'm informing them that we have to get a positive vote of 60 percent of those who participate in the election," Lederer said. "I need them to come out and vote and to network with other people to participate in the vote, hopefully in a positive way."

's PTA co-presidents Maureen Husch and Claire Bucher said Lederer's visit to the PTA's November meeting was helpful.

"It brought the budget topic up much earlier than normal," Husch said in an email to Patch. "I feel he was very candid about the budget and what we can expect if it doesn't pass. I truly think he was trying to focus on the positive but was honest about the negative."

Bucher agreed. "Mr. Lederer did a wonderful job presenting the possible losses of not only programs but the possibility of classrooms being substantially larger due to teacher positions being eliminated," she said.

Johny Q January 12, 2012 at 04:16 PM
The working families in the Three Village District must take a stand here. There is no justification for going above the cap for this budget. Another tax increase would be devastating to homeowners and will create a negative impact on home values. Lederer does not pay taxes in this district.
Tanya January 16, 2012 at 02:38 PM
If you value the value of your home, you may want to consider not only the cost of going above the 2% cap, you may also consider the cost of NOT doing so. You may save several hundred dollars a year, but our schools will look like the national average. Think Lindenhurst, where Mr. Lederer came from. Would you like to pay Three Village taxes, and have Lindenhurst schools? Don't think it can't happen.
Johny Q January 19, 2012 at 08:50 PM
With a district thats had a recent past superintendant who has been convicted for grand larceny from the district, a teacher from a elementary school who has been convicted of a violent rape, and a very high failure rate among the students on the state math regents , the district cannot be far behind. I take it you work in the district.
Ted January 26, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Many people fund their retirements through 401ks. At today's tax rate, I will need $170,000 invested to generate an annuity (@ 6%) to pay my current property taxes. What is the school district doing to cut expenses without cutting services? The answer cannot always be to increase taxes. Property values will go down in this economy if taxes continue to rise. Quality education at any price will not be supported.
Christine Sampson (Editor) January 26, 2012 at 09:22 AM
Hi Ted, that's a valuable point of view and a great question. It reflects the early budget discussions the district is conducting; every recent meeting has featured reports on the kind of cuts they are considering, tough nothing is set in stone yet. I assure you we'll bring you plenty of updates in the near future that will answer your question.

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