The superintendent of public schools has said many times Rome wasn't built in a day. The school district is on a stampede toward spending $1 billion in this decade and reaching a $200 million budget by 2015. The superintendent may be an empire builder but he forgets how the Roman Empire ended up.
As one who has followed the schools for 16 years and prepared the only five year long range financial plan, it is my opinion that the Port Washington School District grossly overcharges the community, has an arrogant disdain for the taxpayers and engages in endless deception to achieve its goals.
Enormous savings could be achieved without diminishing educational excellence by preparing a five-year long range financial plan, not giving out major medical insurance to employees already covered under other plans, encouraging and allowing volunteers to serve the schools, having a two-tier wage scale with more competitive wages for new hires, structuring wage scales on performance rather than longevity, putting custodial services out to bid, cracking down on absenteeism, freezing wages for three years for employees making over $80,000, capping top salaries, ending the teaching salary upgrade program for post degree courses which was scandalized in the past, getting more instructional time from teachers, consolidating (not eliminating) low enrollment sections.
The schools can start leveling with the community by stopping deceptive practices like saying 90 percent of the budget is fixed costs over which they have no control.
With many school employees and their families living in Port who are likely to vote yes on the $100 million budget, the only way this school district will ever stop its insatiable appetite to spend other people's money is by everyone going out to vote.
There is something I have learned in the school of life - power corrupts, greed self-destructs and the arrogance of academia can only be defeated by the power of the people.
To every senior citizen, your time has come.
To the business community, your time has come.
To every person in Port Washington who cares about others as well as yourself, your time has come.
To every person in Port Washington who wants endless spending at the expense of others, your time is over.
The choice is clear: either the school district will bury you, or you will defeat the school budget. A budget defeat twice will still result in the budget going up by about 5.79 percent under state law. Therefore, the school district will not go on austerity, it will return to sanity. Vote no on May 18 at the Weber Middle School between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Steven M. Schlussel