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Letter: Get Out and Vote for School Budget

Dear neighbors, friends and fellow taxpayers of New Hyde Park Garden City Park, and Sewanhaka School Districts, I am writing to you regarding May 18th our school budget vote.

This is a very critical time for all of us….children and taxpayers alike. Being as active as I am in our community, I am privileged to meet and speak with so many of you. The concern of many is that this is a very sensitive economic climate.  Believe me, I empathize with you and I have the very same concerns. For this very reason I am asking all of you to get out the vote..

If the budget is defeated, there is far more to lose than one would expect. Here is a brief overview of a defeated budget:

Cutting/eliminating programs, clubs, clinics, field trips, sports, academic competition, course selection and possible increase in class size resulting in staff reduction.  All contractual obligations must be met….salaries, supplies, utilities, trash, etc.  Use of facilities (inside and outside) if granted, a fee will be charged.

Schools are the hub of our community….an unstable school district isn’t very attractive to prospective buyers.   It sends the wrong message.

Speaking of sending a message…when frustration runs rampant, people feel a message must be sent.  Your frustrations should be directed to your elected state officials and a message should be sent to them objecting to the unfunded mandates imposed by them...not at the school budget polls….cut in state aid, and MTA tax as examples.

As a neighbor, please be suspect of articles, fliers or postings that are not signed.  Anonymity leads to confusion.  Confusion leads to unrest.  Unrest leads to instability which has an adverse impact on our community.  Those writing the articles use data that has not been verified which results in misguided information reaching our hard-working taxpayers only to confuse them.  For any concerns, questions and clarification, please do not hesitate to contact your school superintendents, Robert Katulak at the elementary level at 352-6257 and Warren Meirdiercks at the secondary level at 488-9800.

We should never compromise the educational well being of our children nor the integrity of our taxpayers.  The difference in New Hyde Park Garden City Park between an approved budget and a defeated budget is $99 a year.  Is this worth the compromise-the instability?

I am urging all of you to tell your neighbors and friends to get the vote out on May 18 at Manor Oaks School from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Annette Giarratani

(Editors Note:  Annette Giarratani is a New Hyde Park/Garden City Park School Board Trustee.)