Schools and Libraries
March 18, 2014
The meeting room of the Long Beach Public Library was filled to capacity on March 11 as residents came to hear the Long Beach Board of Education discuss a presentation on the elementary program budget.
Before the start of the regular meeting, the Board held a public hearing on the Alternative Veterans Property Tax Exemption, which was introduced this year by the state legislature. The state has given school districts the ability to offer a tax exemption for eligible veterans, but districts would receive no reimbursement from the state. Michael DeVito, chief operating officer, estimated the additional cost to other taxpayers would be $153,000, which would result in a shift of approximately $14 in taxes to each homeowner not eligible for the veterans' exemption. Although Board members agreed with the exemption in principal, they opted not to adopt the exemption at this meeting. Board members agreed to wait until the state addresses certain issues with the current state law. The way the law is currently written, it makes it impossible for the Board to rescind the exemption once it is adopted.
The Board then opened the regular business meeting with an overview of the current elementary program, costs of the program and recommendations for next year. Dr. Kenneth Graham, the district's assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, began by explaining that the guiding principles of program development are to provide opportunities, high expectations and appropriate support for all students. With help from Director of English Language Arts Joshua Anisansel, Director of Mathematics Cheriese Pemberton and East School Principal Sean Murray, he explained the curriculum components and enrichment activities that the district employs to meet the needs of all students. He also reviewed the district's ongoing plan of action for curriculum revision and staff development to meet the Common Core Learning Standards.