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Opinion

The school bond passed, costing taxpayers millions; the school budget passed, costing the taxpayers millions and now a new teachers' contract, which negotiated in favor of teachers, will cost taxpayers more millions.

Families are suffering under an economic slowdown, they are working longer hours for less pay, layoffs are the highest in 10 years, they are concerned whether their health benefits will meet their needs, if they can afford coverage at all, while others are wondering if they should pay credit card loans, or put food on the table.

Small family businesses in town pay twice the tax rate of residents putting an unbearable burden to cover these huge additional tax increases while still trying to remain competitive and survive.

This is the real world.

Teachers, many of whom are women, often are the second income for their own families. The average teacher in Port Washington makes between $70-$80,000, some are in the six figures, more than most women earn with equal, or superior educational preparation. Benefits, plus paid vacation, are already higher than the private sector.

Under these circumstances, it is hoped a freeze on all teachers' salaries and benefits will be passed in the new teachers' contract, with the understanding all must contribute financially to the educational achievements of children.

Perhaps it is also time to re-evaluate our current school tax system. Rather than businesses paying twice the tax rate and those without children in the system burdened beyond their income, many having to leave the area, why not require those who benefit from the school directly, parents of children in the school, pay twice the tax rate? This would surely bring a balance and more wise spending proposals to the general public.

Cecelia Renga


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