MPSA, an independent group of business, education and civic leaders, is to be praised for debating local school board spending decisions and their effect on our current and future school taxes. They, along with parents, want the best education for their children, and they have always been respectful of the educational establishment, including the school board, administration, teachers, the unions and their allies in Albany. Their solutions do not diminish or reduce the quality of education, only the excesses that continually plague our school board in recent years.
Every reasonable person, including our current governor, now agrees that our school taxes have ballooned out of control mainly due to unchecked spending year-in and year-out. Given our current spending trajectory, homeowners have to accept annual school taxes will double every eight years, negatively impacting our entire community.
Informed Manhasset homeowners, many who work on Wall Street, know full well that our school board is charged with keeping spending in line with inflation. Giving our current superintendent a $40,000 or 19 percent pay raise in just one year is a total disregard for the school board's fiduciary responsibility.
No doubt the defenders of the school establishment will "shoot the messenger" for questioning this decision. I can already hear their mantra "for the children," but it rings hollow. Homeowners, parents and residents need to accept the fact that it is the Manhasset Board of Education and not State politicians who approved this latest salary increase.
The "Spin" to shift the blame for the school tax crisis from our local school board to State politicians has to stop. In all fairness we acknowledge there are a number of budget items that are outside our school board's control and this is not an easy job. However, our school board also needs to be honest with our community and accept full responsibly for this raise that was, in fact, totally within their control.
MPSA continues to act in the interest of the Manhasset taxpayer when they focus on local school district spending and fiscal transparency. You can reach MPSA at www.manhassetpsa.com
John P. Penn