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Opinion

The latest letter from John Zimmerman is another attempt in a recent string of attempts to slant the workings of the board of education. Like the previous letters it is full of misinformation and half-truths.

The only thing in the recent letter that we can all agree with is the first line. Yes, John, you are confused. Unfortunately, after the first line we enter the realm of fiction.

There was no line item in the second budget for an additional teacher (and section) at Guggenheim School. Unlike what we did at Daly where an extra teacher was voted on specifically for Daly, we voted to include in the budget the cost for one additional teacher to be used if the enrollment in any of the schools increased enough over the summer where the administration would feel it was warranted. This has not occurred and the administration has not requested an additional section. In fact it was John who lobbied so hard against adding the funds in the budget for the extra teacher to be used if needed as well as lobbying against the extra TA's that he's asking for. He obviously didn't care if the children would have been stuck in a class way oversized or not at that time.

The class size at Guggenheim at the present is not oversized when compared to our usual class sizes at that grade historically. Nor is it oversized when compared to many of our neighborhood districts such as Roslyn and Jericho. My own son just two years ago had 25 students in his fifth grade class and it was probably one of the best years he had in elementary school due to the strong teaching skills of our teaching staff.

John's next false premises deal with enrolling students in a different school than the school they would normally attend. First, John makes the claim that there was never a board vote on the matter. This is not true. In fact, John, if you read the material that is sent home to you to read you would have seen a copy of the resolution that was voted on and passed by the board of education giving the superintendent the authority to do just what he is doing. Please read the backup material before you make your outlandish claims, it's bad enough that you come to board meetings wanting to debate items that have no backup yet, or backup that you haven't read. Let's try to be a little more careful when you put it in print.

These are also not transfers in the sense that they already are attending the Guggenheim School, but are new enrollees in the school having moved into the area. One student I understand, having moved from another part of town, is ecstatic about being able to return to his old school where he spent the first four years and has all his friends. To call him an "involuntary transfer" is stretching it a bit too much. The other students are fifth grade students who are new to the town and don't have their roots or friends yet at Guggenheim School. I'm sure they'll make plenty of friends at their new school and in one year will be united with all the sixth graders when they attend Weber.

The prior letters you wrote are also full of misinformation and speak volumes about your lack of credibility at this point. Unfortunately, some don't have the time to attend board meetings or know board members and think your letters are factual about what is actually taking place. We have a new board, which is working hard along with the other old board members to just work together, and accomplish something. John, you seem to have your own personal agenda to just disrupt the workings of the board as much as possible and hinder the board from carrying out the important work it has to do this year.

Hopefully in the future you won't write about things that you are confused about without first clarifying them. Let's all try to work together to achieve the goals for our children, which I thought the John Zimmerman of last year had.

Richard Sussman


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