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Letter: Able to See Through the Smoke

On this really cold, snow packed, ice-tinged day I just happened to open up an article online from an ABC News website, dated Feb. 2, about Governor Cuomo’s efforts to rein in school superintendent salaries. I didn’t think much of it until I continued to scroll down wondering how we ranked in the statewide list. Well, that certainly warmed me up...actually it caused me to boil! This is just a very general overview of the listing and I’ve included some of our comp areas as well as some North Shore schools for comparison.

Superintendent salaries: Massapequa $247K, +58K, +20.5K; Wantagh $218K, +45.8K, +4K; Levittown $383.5K, +60K, + 5.6K; Merrick $285K, +25K +3K; E. Meadow $205K, +52.9, +6K; Syosset $386.8K, +67K, +5K; Jericho $281K + 60K, +60K. The first figure is salary; second figure is usually health, life, auto, etc. insurances and many other freebies; 3rd figure is “miscellaneous.”

The obscenity goes on, and on and on. When it’s time to vote for the school budgets they always threaten you with sports programs being cut, activities being cut, music and art being cut, transportation being cut, etc. They know how to string you along! They are masters of it. How obscene are they? Apparently, very.

Our school boards are nothing short of obscene as well. How salaries and benefits like these are passed is just pathetically sickening. Now, remember, personnel will be appropriately paid. No wonder I pay the taxes I do for my small 60x100 plot of peace!

To put it in perspective: nuns receive a stipend, certainly not a salary (and no retirement benefits other than a bed in a room in a nunnery, with meals and health insurance). And, as I remember, they do a fairly good job of educating kids.   

I am not knowledgeable enough to figure out how to rein this in; I’m depending on Governor Cuomo to do this for all of us, especially with the economy the way it is. I pay their salaries and benefits yet my husband has not had a pay increase in two years; our health contribution has increased and we have no dental or vision; my salary has taken a major hit, and yet I pay toward these obscene salaries. I vote, and so do you!

And, I had four children in this school district and voted the budgets down many times before so this is not an issue of, well, her kids aren’t in school any longer. No, I have just been able to see through the smoke.

Mary Ellen Orchard

Levittown resident