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As all homeowners know, the value of a good school system cannot be denied, it is one of the biggest selling points for the town, along with location and diversity. Everyone knows that this translates into higher prices for our houses when we sell them.

Unfortunately the school budget along with the school tax, have become very divisive issues. There are certainly some very valid points on the part of the anti-budget people that make sense to regular people like me. The amount of time spent in classrooms is the one that stands out the most but there are others. Call me dense but when I read in the Port Washington News the same inadequate answer to the question of three less hours in the classroom it upsets me. The school officials have said over and over again, that the teachers spend time tutoring during the day to an unknown amount of students and that the time is not actually accounted for and this costs us, the taxpayers $1,500,000. I think we need a less condescending and more exact answer.

I also recognize that people in unions have the right to make demands and set up contracts via negotiations. However I think that the cost of these issues, a cost carried by the taxpayer, should have a major impact on the settlements. The budget was defeated. People want more control. These are simple statements. It seems to me that the teachers and the school board think that it is business as usual. When I see teachers setting up picket lines, tenured people who have the best job guarantee there is, I don't think that they have fully gotten the point that the taxpayers are not happy.

I think that the school board and the teachers union better start to understand that they are accountable to all of the people in town. Business as usual, spend -spend is not going to fly in the future.

Rick Atkinson


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