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Letter to the Editor: Vote 'No' On Garden City School Budget

One Garden City explains why he is not supporting the 2012-13 budget on Tuesday.

To the Editor,
  The Educrats control the process.  Our BOE, the Administration, the Unions and PTA cheerleaders run the show. They certainly have not earned the trust of the taxpayers.  In all the years I have been observing, have there been any permanent wage freezes or reductions as experienced in the private sector?  NEVER.  Have the benefit packages been restructured to bring them in line with the private sector?  NEVER.  Has the BOE gotten any serious concessions from the Unions?  NEVER.  Have there been any serious sacrifices made by the Public Sector members?  NEVER. 

Have the taxpayers had to deal with a continually increasing school tax burden?  ALWAYS!  Do the Scholar, Athlete and Special Needs Parents fight each other for scraps while the Unions and Administration feast?  ALWAYS!  Is austerity threatened to keep the taxpayers in line?  ALWAYS!   The end result of this mismanagement will eventually be bankruptcy.  Future taxpayers won't stand for paying unfunded pension and retiree healthcare costs.  If there are any taxpayers still living here.
  Which part of the Educracy is paying for the "Vote Yes" signs?  The Unions?  The PTA Cheerleaders?    Vote NO on the upcoming school budget Tuesday, May 15 to stop this madness. 

A Voting Taxpayer,
Thomas P. Brosnan

Garden City Resident

Linda Wangner May 14, 2012 at 12:23 PM
I have lived in Garden City for 30+ years. I retired from teaching in a Suffolk County school district. My pay scale was 20 - 25% higher with better benefits.. I did not pay into my health insurance until 2000-2001. I pay 15% When my husband and I are eligible for Medicare, we will be reimbursed quarterly by my school district for the cost of medicare. G.C. teachers do not have any of these benefits. G.C. teachers are not the lowest or highest paid teachers on Long Island. Potential teachers have resigned before school started because they could not find affordable housing. Take into consideration the cost of the required Masters Degree. School districts do not reimburse for graduate work as quickly as corporate America.. Garden City teachers have always paid a percentage of their health insurance. The pensions are not unfunded. Tier 1 teachers probably all but retired. That was the only group that did not pay into the pension fund. The remaining crew of Tier 2,3,4,and 5 all pay increasing percentage of the pension fund. You are sorely misinformed. When budgets are cut, resources dry up. Teachers regularly spend hundreds and perhaps thousand dollars each year on curriculum materials. I know I have had to do this. Therefore I trust you realize that your conclusion is illogical.
Robert Bolebruch May 14, 2012 at 02:47 PM
The numbers just don't add up. The contract we just signed kicks the can down the road 3 years. Our schools are doing a great job but we will not be able to continue at this pace financially. We have lost 35+ teachers, coaches, intramural programs, pre-school programs....and this is with a declining enrollment. Also, please stop with the money teachers spend. Most everyone spends money on their jobs. Also, please don't say the classic line...it's not about the money. It is exactly what this is about. Look. I have lived here for 17 years, and am very proud of what our hard working teachers and students have accomplished, but better money management is what is needed. All of what we have accomplished is what is at risk. The problem is when enrollments turn up, or the board runs out of deals or we run out of reserves, the very programs that everyone touts will be at risk. Weather you like it or not, this IS A BUSINESS. We have a $100 million budget which in 4 years will be over $125 million. There are another 1100 teachers about to lose their jobs this year because we can't keep paying these benefits...Dental, step raises, medical, yearly raises... on and on. Those in the professional ranks have also paid for our college cost, our industry educational requirements and our year expense. The teachers are not unique. The bottom line is that this is not the residents against the teachers, it is about realizing that we can only pay so much. When this ends, it will not be pretty.
George May 14, 2012 at 02:57 PM
What specific Middle School Teams are impacted, and how? Same for HS JV.
George May 14, 2012 at 02:58 PM
sorry...I asked this before...BUT....what other school district has implemented "Best Practices"? I think this would have been solved long ago if it were "That" easy.....
Sally Carson May 14, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Also please stop with the "we have to live here too!" or "we need a Master's!" hyperbole. There are many professions that require some sort of advanced education, and it's not always evident. Your insurance agent probably has a CPCU, which is the equivalent of a Master's. Anything like that requires continuing ed as well - hell, even your hairdresser needs a license and continuing ed. And yes, everyone lays out money for job-related stuff. Bottom line is there is NO OTHER JOB where you can work 3 years and be guaranteed a job for life with ridiculous pay at the taxpayers expense. My 3 kids kindergarten teachers all make WELL OVER $100K a year - sorry, but that's plain ridiculous.
Steve F May 15, 2012 at 02:02 AM
lol I love how teachers think everyone in the "private sector" has their education paid for and gets outlandish raises annually. We also work a full year, and YES, we take work home. Sadly, blackberries, weren't a big hit because of brick breaker. Just another way for corporate america to institute a 7 day work week. I am tired of hearing the poor teacher routine.
GCTaxpayer May 15, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Steve, So true. I have never met a teacher that isn't overworked and underpaid and doesn't have enough time off. And on top of it, they have a union that supports their claims. But, it's all about the kids, right? Yeah right. Most teachers are good at what they do and I appreciate it, but the entire structure is set up to fail.
George May 17, 2012 at 06:54 PM
any insight here? Curious where the sports cuts will be.....
GC Student May 21, 2012 at 12:09 AM
As a Garden City High School student, I am nauseated by the comments on these articles concerning the teachers within the Garden City School District. First off there are mistakes in the facts. Statistics that can be found very easily demonstrate that the private sector pays for master degrees exponentially more often than teachers in the public sector. The fact that in such an affluent community where most households are headed by individuals with college degrees people still want to vote down a budget, a process that would hurt the students more than any other demographic. Changes do need to be made, but voting down the budget is not where to start. In my opinion, the administration is the aspect of the school district that should be subject to cuts, not the schools themselves.
Steve F May 21, 2012 at 09:54 AM
As a hIgh school student in GC you are still very naive to life and the real world. Get a job, pay taxes, and learn about the private and public sector. Since you seem to enjoy statistics so much, start by researching the salary package of the PRIVATE high schools around us, such as chaminade. Ask your teacher for help, I hear they all work long hours after the school day ends, so they won't mind.
Sally Carson May 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Well, GC "STUDENT" (LOL - OK) - when you graduate from GCHS, go off to college, graduate, do the "de riguer" live in NYC for a few years then try to come back and buy a house in GC, we'll see how you feel. How does $500K for a dump bordering Hempstead with $20K in taxes sound to you? Good? OK. Keep defending this system, bud.
George May 22, 2012 at 01:11 PM
So, do all of you have children who graduated long ago! Do you not remember that teachers spent more time with your kids than we did? If you don't reward teachers you will not attract the talent....simple. More complex is how to fairly budget this....lets keep our focus on whats important....and oh yeah...your house is to some extent worth what it is because of our education reputation....
Steve F May 22, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Stop being fooled George. Your house is not valued by your school district. Just look at the top ranking schools. Look at neighboring Queens who has greatly outpaced Nassau in home sales. At this point the school taxes we pay are straining home values. People aren't all stupid, they know at some point it's cheaper to pay for top quality public schools and enjoy cheaper taxes. As for attracting talent. Are you really that jaded that you think there is a shortage of teachers applying for jobs on LI? Lol are you under the impression that you wouldn't have hundreds of highly qualified applicants for any LI school position, even at a 10% salary reduction? Don't be held hostage by the school board. If a teacher sees your kids more in 180 work days a year than I am sorry for your home life. Maybe you shouldn't work so hard and make more time for your family. There are 365 days in a year and you say a teacher who only works 180 is spending more time with your kids....scary.
George May 22, 2012 at 05:23 PM
ok Steve F, ....I could barely read any deeper into your note once you reference queens....come on get a grip. And oh yeah, my quick note was a reference to school days during the school year....so don't try to be clever...what's your solution? I think I know....vote the budget down at any oppty, strip salaries/benes/programs....then complain about who moves next door....stay grumpy my friend!
Sally Carson May 22, 2012 at 05:28 PM
George, put down the Kool Aid - there are plenty of good school districts on LI. People are wising up to the fact that a few percentage points do make a big enough difference to justify paying $100K more for a house that hasn't been taken care of for 50 years and that has a $20K tax bill. If GC's scores are 95 and Massapequa's are 90....really, do you think it makes THAT much of a difference? You'll always have people that want to say they live in GC, but those suckers are going to become fewer and farther between as the years go by. People are realizing they just can't sustain the tax bills on their houses, let alone deal with future increases. People are leaving LI in droves. http://www.forbes.com/special-report/2011/migration.html