Written by Wendy Karpel Keritzman Friday, 22 January 2010 00:00
We congratulate the Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education for once again finding the right solution in the midst of tough times. Whenever a roadblock is set up, we can always count on our school board to find a way around. This time, as our nation, and indeed the world, faces the ramifications of financial crisis, the school board has taken one ingenious step in attempting to keep taxes down. In order to trim the school district’s already lean 2010-2011 budget, and as well maintain this outstanding school system, the school district must find a way to cut about $6 million. Step number one, as announced last week, will be to offer a retirement incentive to specific tiers of educators and staff.
Although this school district has always prized its longtime teachers and placed great value on experience, the tough decision now is to allow these valued educators to retire earlier, which will permit the district to hire new teachers, at a lower salary.
An ingenious idea! For if this does not work, other strong cuts will be called for … like it or not. And even if a good number of educators do choose the incentive, there will still be some very tough choices to make and some very hard cuts to consider.
Having watched the work of this board of education for so many, many years, I strongly support this retirement incentive. And as much as I know for very sure that this board of education will always, always value its promise for the best education for each individual child, I also know that they will have to implement some painful cuts, at least for now.
Board of Education President Barbara Berkowitz has promised that no matter what changes might be made, “It will still be Great Neck … we will still be there for each and every child, to make sure that each get the best education … and we will still provide the best in education, better than anywhere else.”
We believe in Barbara Berkowitz and her outstanding board (Vice President Fran Langsner, trustees Donald Ashkenase, Lawrence Gross, and Susan Miner-Healy) and we believe in our school district. Great Neck is on the right track. We know that this incredible education and all of the caring will remain intact, no matter what … and that each and every homeowner will breathe a bit easier knowing that all that can be done will be done to keep property taxes as low as possible.
Thank you to the board of education. We support you every step of the way!