At the March 13 budget workshop, the athletics, special education and technology departments presented their budget details for next year. These presentations can be found on our website at www.ewsdonline.org > click on District tab > Departments > Business & Finance > Budget Info > 13-14 Budget Info.
This year, the district needed to reduce the budget by $2 million in order to fall within the property tax levy cap. Through the restructuring and reallocation of district resources, as well as leveraging grants and cost-sharing with other districts, program and class sizes are being maintained, with some new class offerings at Wheatley.
I wish I could remind all the folks in Washington D.C. and Albany that if they look beyond the special interest agendas that consume them, they would find most of us still waiting on what counts: the economy. For all the media hoopla that highlights and exploits our disagreements, most people want exactly the same things: they want to work and make a decent living at a job that’s secure; they want to raise their families in peace; they want a good education for their kids and maybe a few of the finer things in life like a vacation or a new car once in a while. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. At one time all of these were taken as a given.
Recently, we received the glad tidings that an insane asylum called North Korea may have developed a missile capable of hitting the west coast of the United States. Meanwhile, the Democrats and the Republicans are about as far apart from a budget deal as Hoboken, New Jersey is from the next galaxy. If that isn’t bad enough, five weeks ago a funny thing happened on our planet’s revolution around the Sun: a meteor collided with our planet.
I can’t help but notice the outrageous irony in this: that the recent program to buy back illegal guns gave participants up to $400 for surrendering a functioning weapon, while granting them anonymity. These weapons may have been wrongly used, and now those who forfeited their ownership are cleared from exposure.
With women in their place, the celibate bishops of the Catholic Church elected a Pope that will set policy and dictate personal conduct to millions of people. Excluding women from the decision making process not only is discriminatory, but undemocratic, and further demonstrates the failure of the Church to come to terms with full female equality. It highlights the celibate lifestyle as an abnormality of nature inconsistent with the Biblical counsel to “go forth and multiply.”
Franklin Square resident
There is, I confess, a kind of perverse pride at work when I consider that my predictions about Obama’s economic policies have been borne out: an environment of minimal growth, alarming indebtedness, higher taxes and steep and protracted unemployment. Still, I would rather be a jovial myopic than a dismal prophet.
But this is not an exercise to flatter my vanity or celebrate my prescience, I can regale you chapter and verse on where I’ve gone awry in the past. Instead I choose to focus on what I got wrong on a subject in which I got nearly everything right. In a word it’s inflation. It’s almost non-existent and in an economy flushed with cash, courtesy of the U.S. Treasury Department, there should be too many dollars chasing too few goods. The effect of such an imbalance is inflation. But we’ve had very little of that and that’s a good thing since inflation is theft; it steals value from people’s savings and savings is a symptom of a healthy economy.
The announcement last week by Northrop Grumman Corp. (Grumman to those of us who have been on this Island awhile) that it will transfer 850 jobs from its Bethpage facility to Florida and California should come as no shock.
The company, once Long Island’s largest and best-known employer, has been sending jobs South for more than two decades. At one point, the in the 1980s, the company employed 25,000 people on the Island, built the Navy’s premier fighter, the F-14 Tomcat, and, in the 1960s, built the Lunar Lander that took Apollo astronauts to the moon.
When Saul of Tarsus set out on his fateful journey to Damascus the whole world lay in bondage. There was one state; it was Rome. There was one ruler; it was Tiberius Caesar. Despotism was the rule and every human life was insignificant when compared to the glory of Rome. It was, or so it was believed, an empire that transcended the ages. Yet at its very summit a nascent, nearly invisible movement was fermenting from within; a movement propelled by only a few bedraggled fishermen. From this infinitesimal nucleus, without the benefit of even the most rudimentary mass communication, these followers would increase to 30 million in less than 300 years. The church that sprang from a tiny, persecuted band of believers would vastly outdistance the reigns of all the emperors, change human history in unprecedented dimensions and remain, two millennia later, the world’s most significant, internationally recognized moral authority.
The challenge of the Common Core Learning Standards continues to involve “unfunded mandates,” and yet due to the outstanding instructional leadership demonstrated by our administrators and their ability to professionally develop their staff, we continue to keep making inroads on helping our students excel with the diminishing resources we have. Currently each building principal has worked closely with each library media specialist to make sure the non-fiction library is strong and correlated to the students’ abilities and topics across the content areas.
I’m writing this on Feb. 22, George Washington’s birthday, so I have no idea if automatic spending cuts (sequestration) will go into effect on March 1. Well, happy birthday George, though I’m sure the Father of our Country would loathe acknowledging paternity for the reckless manner in which his Republic spends taxpayer dollars. Taxation was, after all, the clarion call that gave birth to his country and it was indeed Washington’s vice president, John Adams, who observed that there are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword …The other is by debt.
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