With the 2013 school budget vote approaching, Farmingdale Board of Education members fear that a lack of voter participation could have harsh results on the school district this year.
Wednesday night’s board meeting was the first of several scheduled for this month to attempt to make residents more aware of how their voices can be heard.
While many Farmingdale residents are active participants in the school budget vote, Superintendent John Lorentz fears that there are still too many residents who are not aware of the impact the budget vote will have on their school district.
“We need to hit a larger group,” said Shari Bardash-Eivers, board of education president. “This discussion has to involve more people.”
Many registered voters who do choose to participate in the budget vote often see an approved budget as a negative, due to the tax increase they wish to avoid.
These same residents also wish to see their school district keep its approved educational programs. Because the Farmingdale district has been able to maintain extra-curricular activities and sports programs, the board fears that residents will not see that funding for programs could be lost in the near future if the budget is not approved.
“If we don’t start getting people to look to the future, we’re going to end up like a statistic on a sheet,” said Lorentz. “Too often we wait for things to affect us personally before we act on them, and then it’s too late.”
This year’s budget vote will take place on Tuesday, May 21. The board hopes to increase attendance at weekly meetings until then to inform the public of the importance their role has on maintaining special programs within the district, board members said.