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Letter: No Justice Served By Failing The School Budget

As a Bayville resident with three children attending Locust Valley middle and high schools, and an active member of several parent councils, I am well aware of the controversy surrounding John Benstock and the lawsuits involving both the LVCSD and the LVSEA.

In recent weeks a faceless group, “The LV Parents Against Child Abuse,” has taken out ads in local newspapers, attempting to link the lawsuit brought by the LVSEA directly with the 2014/15 LVCSD school budget. A Google search of “The LV Parents Against Child Abuse” yielded no results for any organized group. As far as I know, no such group has attended any BOE meetings or LVCSD Public Budget Forums to speak out publicly about their concerns. To say that I disagree with their tactics would be an understatement. It is hard for me to entertain a group, or their platform, when their sole method of disseminating their message is done in such a covert, secretive manner.

Furthermore, I am both disturbed and disgusted by this “group’s” attack on the teachers of the LVCSD. To state that the teachers in this district continue to defend a sexual child abuser is ludicrous. Does it sound reasonable that teachers (many of whom are parents) would condone the acts of a convicted sex offender? It’s pretty clear to me that the teachers of the LVSEA are trapped by the bureaucracy of convoluted, unionized litigation. Many of the teachers in LV are our friends and neighbors. Their own children attend the schools in LVCSD. LV teachers continuously show their dedication to the success of the children of our school community. It shines through in our students’ performance on various levels – academics, the arts, and athletics, and cannot be denied.

I attended Dr. Hunderfund’s presentation of the 2014-15 school budget. I believe that the administrators in this district have been fiscally efficient and responsible. They have prudently cut administrative costs so that all student programs will be maintained. The proposed budget is coming in under the LVCSD tax cap maximum. I applaud and appreciate their efforts in continually putting the needs of the students first. To fail this school budget would directly persecute the students of the LVCSD, by denying them the many school experiences that would be eliminated if the district had to go to a contingency budget.

The community has suffered on many levels as a result of John Benstock’s depraved actions. I am truly hopeful that members of the Locust Valley/Bayville Community recognize the Benstock issue and the passing of the School Budget as two distinct, separate entities.

On May 20 I implore the voters to vote for the budget on it’s merit. Our administrators have put forth a sound and fiscally prudent budget. The LVCSD school budget deserves to stand alone.

Dawn Burnett