The recent Sea Cliff Village public meeting with mayor Bruce Kennedy and trustees was packed with residents questioning the decision of the Board to reopen the alarming possibility of a cell tower on Altamont Avenue – again.
Quality public education is the lifeblood of democracy. The oxygen that nourishes democracy’s lifeblood is money. Take away the money and public education and democracy suffer. All over the world, the most ruthlessly totalitarian countries and societies, and those most plagued by all manner of fundamentalism, tribalism and violence have the most uneducated populations.
For years, powerful, self-serving interests—unregulated corporations and investment companies, and the politicians who are beholden to them—have siphoned off our country’s wealth, our collective oxygen. Their greed and abysmal stewardship of our collective wealth have plunged the U.S. and most of the world into a very deep and dangerous recession, leaving most ordinary people gasping for air.
After many months of working together with the administration and community the Glen Cove Board of Education voted to adopt the proposed 2010-2011 school budget, which represents a commitment to continued student success and ongoing long-range fiscal responsibility. Thanks to the continued support of the community, student achievement is at an all-time high in the classroom, on the stage, and on the playing field. The Board of Education is very proud of the progress that has been made and believes the proposed budget will provide the funding needed to continue to support the district’s goals.
As a new member of the North Shore School Board, and as an economist, I welcome the opportunity to respond to board of education candidate Paul Echausse’s critique of the board’s planning. In particular Mr. Echausse is upset that the board did not take into account “the fact” that recessions come around like clockwork once every eight years. To avoid cutbacks in lean years, he argues, the board should have saved in fat years.
Although we are trustees on the Glen Cove Board of Education, we are writing this letter as individuals, not on behalf of the board. We are writing to sincerely thank the Glen Cove Administrators’ Union for their cooperation and generosity in negotiating a freeze on their salaries for next year. This sacrifice by each of our individual administrators allowed us to lower the proposed tax levy by $80,000. They did so despite the fact that, in this year’s proposed budget, the board cut 15 percent of the administrator positions in the district. The Administrators’ Union could have insisted that this money be used to save a job for one of their members. However, they recognized that, in order to get this budget passed, we needed to lower the proposed tax levy as much as possible, and agreed to allow us to give all of this $80,000 back to the taxpayers, in the hope that the Glen Cove community will support the budget.
As our children get older, we sometimes become less involved in the school district due to our busy schedules. However, during this year and in the next couple of years, we need the strength of all of our parents including our middle school and high school parents to not only get out and vote YES on the school budget but help the younger generation of parents learn the facts!
Sexting is a rather recent problem that has damaging effects on young high school students. Sexting is the forwarding of nude or semi-nude photographs through the use of a cell phone or any other electronic media. School districts are finding that more and more teenage girls are sending obscene pictures of themselves to boys. Sexting gets out of hand when male students trade images with their friends through their phones.
The Glen Cove Public Library is very pleased to announce that its budget for the fiscal year 2010–11 passed by an overwhelming majority at the budget vote and trustee election held on Tuesday, April 13. Trustee Toni Ann Kessel has been re-elected to the Library Board of Trustees, and her new five year term will begin on July 1. The other board members are Christine Ghent, Paul Meli, Ellen Savino, and Michael Maher.
By the end of the Glen Cove Board of Education meeting last week, I felt the heaviness of the realities we are facing as a school district here in Glen Cove, as well as anger. The anger comes from a recent reminder of how many people in this town do not vote in school budget and board trustee elections. I had just sat through a meeting filled with high school students who came to plead the saving of two high school guidance counselors’ positions that are currently on the list of cuts. I heard mothers pleading for their artist children who are facing the reality of an education that will no longer engage their strengths. I looked at a budget “cut list” that already includes 11 teachers, and threatens to double if this budget does not pass. We are dealing with the reality that all sports below the High School Varsity level, along with all field trips, will be recommended for elimination from our schools if this bare bones budget does not pass.
A pervasive problem that has been receiving a great deal of attention involves the increase in school violence. One type of school violence is referred to as bullying which is student-on-student harassment. Bullying includes one student’s physical and/or verbal abuse of another. One dynamic of bullying is that peers often watch without intervening in support of the student who is being targeted. Often bullying occurs over a long period of time with the victim remaining silent either because of social pressure, shame or grave concern about increased victimization. The problem is so extensive in the public schools that several incidents have resulted in student suicide and/or hospitalization. Students with disabilities have historically been subjected to teasing, harassment, and other forms of victimization. With the increase in school violence, students with disabilities may have even a greater likelihood of being bullied than their non-disabled peers.
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