Once again, the children of Port Washington are at risk of entering a school year without the passage of a budget. Over the past year I have heard so many reasons why people have chosen to vote "no" for the budgets and the bond. But of all the reasons I have heard, the one that saddens me the most was from a parent of school-aged children. They felt the board would cut out some of the "fat" and resubmit a more palatable budget to the community. Well, the "fat" has been cut, $1,133,808 worth, and it includes such items as more than $100,000 in technology and software purchases, portable classrooms for an already overcrowded middle school, a reduction in staff conferences and workshops and a reduction in staff positions at both the elementary and secondary levels. This does not sound like "fat" to me. These are cuts that directly affect the quality of the education in our district. I do respect the position that the administration and board found themselves. They felt the need to listen to the message that the town sent by voting "no." I urge the members of our community to send another message, that there is support for our schools.
Please vote "yes" for the school budget on June 20 and help our district take the first steps toward solving the many problems they will have to tackle over the next year.