Three school board members recently spoke to a community group about the March 16 bond vote. I posed a question that's been before this board for six months, namely, why can't we get 20 hours of class time per Schreiber teacher per week, as allowed in the contract, instead of the current 17 hours/week. Doing so would enable Schreiber to conduct the same number of courses with 20-25 fewer teachers, saving the taxpayers $2 million per year. Coupling this with replacement of four nurse teachers with nurses, as done in all other Nassau districts, would save us $7 million over three years. The roof work covered by the bond issue will not complete for three years. Hence, we could pay for all the roof work over the next three years with the savings described above. In addition, we'd save the $400,000 it costs to float the bonds.
The school board president refused to answer my question, to the dismay of many in attendance. The board has been blind to this issue for six months now. The bond, which is completely unnecessary in light of the less expensive funding approach achievable by getting the four classes/day/teacher we're entitled to, should be voted down in view of the board's stubborn refusal to consider the hard pressed taxpayers. The lower the voter turnout, the more likely the bond vote will pass. The board is counting on voter apathy.
Anyone who wants to hear the incredible defense of the current waste at Schreiber should ask the administration for the video of the Jan. 6 school board meeting, and listen to the absolute gibberish uttered by Asst. Principal Carmine Matina in "explaining" why our teachers can't teach the full 20 hours allowed in the contract. If anyone does so, and makes any sense whatsoever out of Matina's "explanation," please write a letter explaining what the heck he said. To me it was utter nonsense, to which the board had no response. Anyone interested in a rough transcript of that part of the meeting, email me at FJRussoJr@cs.com, or mail a self-addressed stamped envelope to PO Box 203, Port Washington, with the word "transcript," and I'll happily send it to you.
Frank J. Russo Jr.