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Letter: I Am Scared

On the evening of March 11, Superintendent Charlie Cardillo gave a 2013-2014 preliminary working school budget presentation that directly addressed the issue of what it would mean to the school district if the school budget failed twice.  

According to Mr. Cardillo, if the budget is defeated twice by voters the tax levy increase must be set at 0 percent which translates into a required $6.8 million reduction from the proposed school budget.

At that juncture, anything and everything would be up for grabs.  According to slide #43, the following draconian cutbacks are under consideration:

• Eliminating all interscholastic athletics at the middle school, JV and Varsity levels.

• Eliminating all extracurricular before- and after-school programs and activities K-12.  In other words, no clubs, no enrichment programs or before- or after-school fine or performing arts activities.

• Reducing up to14 FTE’s at the elementary level, increasing K-6 class sizes.

• Reducing up to 14 FTE’s at the secondary level, increasing 7-12 class sizes and reducing or eliminating course offerings all together.

And that is not the end of it.  Even after those ruinous cuts there would still be another $1.6 million or more that would have to be slashed from the budget!

For those of you who have students engaged in interscholastic sports, is this what you want for your children?  For those of you who value lower class sizes, is this what you want for your children?  For those of you who appreciate the importance of a comprehensive course selection for secondary school students, is this what you want for your children?  For those of you with elementary or secondary school students who supplement their academics with extracurricular activities, is this what you want for your children?  For those of you with children fully engaged in the arts, is this what you want for your children?  For those of you who just moved here based on the strength of our school district, is this what you want for your children?

As a lifelong resident of Manhasset and an unapologetic supporter of our schools I must admit that I am scared to death of what this vote could do to our district, so I ask you to please consider your priorities very carefully before going to the polls on May 21.

Mimi Donohue