Could you imagine if, tomorrow, school districts across New York State had to absorb more than 400,000 new students? Or picture your local school enrolling hundreds of new students and the effect it would have on class sizes, let alone our ability to provide books and materials, desks and lockers. Our current facilities could in no way withstand that kind of blow. In each district, new schools would have to be immediately built and hundreds of teachers, aides, and support staff would have to be hired. With the average cost to educate a student in New York at over $20,000 annually, you could bet our already sky-high school taxes would zoom to astronomical levels.
Make no bones about it. I have been consumed with nonstop questions and concerns regarding the state education department’s rollout of the Common Core curriculum. I’m approached by constituents with questions at almost every event I attend in our district. But more than answer questions, I’ve been trying to listen because it’s abundantly clear to me that people are truly upset. There’s something wrong and they want something to be done.
To resolve this issue is going to take time and a whole lot of patience. That’s why I was so flabbergasted this past week when State Education Commissioner Dr. John King Jr. announced he was suspending his scheduled town hall meetings to discuss the roll-out of Common Core and answer questions. Apparently, the commissioner was challenged by concerned parents and teachers at a town hall meeting upstate. Blaming “special interests” (i.e. concerned parents) for what he felt was an unconstructive atmosphere, he chose to suspend subsequent meetings including the Long Island event that was to be held right here in Garden City. This was an incredibly poor decision on his part. Anyone involved in government must understand that just because you don’t like the score, doesn’t mean you can take your bat and your ball and go home. This is especially true as Dr. King not only chose the game, he set the rules by which our children will be gauged. It’s wrong.
Tom Suozzi is my cousin, so obviously you know I’m supporting him this November. He’s running again for Nassau County Executive, because he believes that this county can be one of the greatest places to live in the country. He’s a deeply caring man that wants nothing more than to use his skills, abilities and leadership to serve his community and provide a better future for our children.
I have known Judi Bosworth for over 25 years. I met Judi when she was President of the Saddle Rock Elementary School PTA. At the first meeting, I knew that we, as parents, were in extremely capable hands. It is very rare to meet someone and feel so confident that our issues and concerns are going to be represented in a thoughtful, effective and compassionate manner.
Recently, we, as your elected members of the Carle Place Board of Education, have received questions from community members concerning the status of the school district’s negotiations with the Carle Place Teachers’ Association. We would like the community to know that while we want to negotiate a fair contract with the teachers’ union, this contract must be fair to our taxpayers as well. There appears to be a lot of inaccurate information circulating in the community concerning the current negotiations, and we would like to set the record straight.
The average salary for Carle Place Teachers is $112,435. In this respect, more than 83 percent of Carle Place teachers are making more than $100,000 per year. In addition, Carle Place teachers receive generous benefits not typically seen in the corporate world, including health insurance for which they only pay 10 percent. Moreover, they also receive substantial pension benefits upon retirement.
Thank you all for making the Matt Powell and Dan McGovern Memorial Golf Outing a great success. We had 108 golfers and all had a great day. Even the weather cooperated. Friends and family joined the golfers later for dinner and raffles. Many went home with great prizes which were donated by various area businesses.
Your kindness and your generosity is a wonderful tribute to our boys. Your generous donations will fund the two scholarships established in their names for many years to come and their memory will live on with each student we are able to help.
Linda and Mark Powell, Doris and Mike McGovern and our families
The new performing arts theatre in Westbury known as The Space is a huge attraction revitalizing our downtown community. This is part of the magnet that has been needed to draw back people to the downtown after having left us for the past twenty or more years for Roosevelt Field; Corporate Drive and Fortunoff’s Shopping Center, among others. The Village of Westbury, its former Mayor Ernest Strada and it current Mayor Peter Cavallaro together with our Village Board deserve very substantial credit for staying the course, having foresight and developing a plan with the new owners that will generate enormous vitality into the community. The $10-million invested has created a beautiful venue that will generate revenue for the owners and our entire downtown. Our hats are off to them and all responsible for a job well done.
Thomas F. Liotti
Carle Place teachers are taxpayers too. We understand and share in the frustration that some community members feel over rising school taxes and the slow pace of Long Island’s economic recovery.
At the same time, Carle Place teachers are not immune to those same rising costs. We, too, are paying more for health insurance, prescription drugs, gasoline at the pump, and, yes, even property taxes. Teachers have car payments, mortgages and college tuition bills — or student loans — to worry over, just like so many other families in Carle Place, Westbury and nearby communities.
The hundreds of educators throughout Long Island who gathered for Thursday’s rally had a simple message: It’s time to treat Carle Place teachers fairly.
The September 25 article titled ‘Carle Place Ballfields Strike Out’ features many misrepresentations of the Town of North Hempstead’s efforts to improve the playing fields and community room at Charles J. Fuschillo Park in Carle Place.
As we are in “political season”, it is unfortunate for everyone that my opponent has painted an inaccurate and unfair picture of reality. As the North Hempstead Town Councilwoman representing Carle Place, Westbury, New Cassel and Old Westbury, I take pride in encouraging dialogue and communication between myself and my constituents, and addressing their concerns in a timely manner. I have indeed received phone calls, emails and letters from the concerned residents quoted in this article. I have met with these residents multiple times, most recently in July 2013, and worked hand-in-hand with the Town’s Parks Department to resolve any issues the residents have had about the parks in Carle Place.
In the June 2013 edition of the (Carle Place) Frog Horn, a letter appeared in which the writer praised two members of the Carle Place Board of Education for their roles in maintaining a low budget increase this year. While the increase in this year’s budget is actually higher than it has been in recent years, I would like to commend all five board members for the job they did in keeping this year’s increase as low as possible. I would like to, specifically, mention the three members, who were not mentioned by name in that letter: President Barry Dennis and trustees Larry Zaino and John DiFrisco. The current board and district administration has continued a practice of past boards and administrations in establishing budget and tax increases, which are moderately low compared to other school districts on Long Island. This has resulted, over the years, in a tax rate in Carle Place, which is among the lower rates in the region. At the same time, the quality of the education provided in our schools continues at a very high level, as evidenced by the assessment of independent organizations such as U.S. News and World Report, which rated Carle Place High School as among the best in the country. Obtaining this type of educational outcome, while keeping the tax rate as low as it is, has been particularly difficult considering the many unfunded mandates imposed on school districts by the state government.
Moreover, the New York State created Taylor Law and Triborough Amendment place school districts in an extremely unfavorable position in labor negotiations. I strongly encourage the current board and administration to continue the good work they have done over the past year. I urge them to strive to achieve three goals in preparing each year’s budget. First, and foremost, they should ensure the quality of the education provided to the children in our community, so that they are fully prepared to be well-informed and productive citizens when they graduate. Secondly, they should continue to produce a budget that is affordable to the taxpayers in the district. Thirdly, they should maintain the high-quality reputation of our schools in order to protect property values for all homeowners in the district. If they achieve these goals, I am confident that the community will continue to support the school budgets as they have done for many years.
Former member of the
Carle Place Board of Education
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