I appreciate school board member Larry Greenstein publicly stating his views on school state aid. Most school board members try to keep a low profile even during public school board meetings. The public is deprived of valuable information when considering their re-election; maybe this is why they say so little. In any event, Mr. Greenstein would like Port Washington to get more state aid, others have asked him a very simple question: If NY State gives us a larger piece of the state aid pie, who should get less? Mr. Greenstein refuses to explain which districts are receiving too much state aid. OK, others have then asked: Should the "pie" be larger so everyone gets more? He seems to indicate this should be the case.
It's reasonable to conclude for NY State to have a larger pool of resources to distribute to school districts our state taxes would have to go up. I certainly do not think our citizens want large tax increases as Mr. Greenstein seems to indicate. I would offer him an alternative solution, as a trustee of the Port Washington School district; he has direct control over our property tax increases. It costs the taxpayers of Port Washington $21,000 per year to educate each student in our school district, one third of our teachers earn in excess of $100,000 per year, Mr. Greenstein should look to slow the growth of these figures rather then looking to raise our state taxes in addition to our property taxes to fund these out of control expenses. His first act as a trustee last year was to vote yes on a 9 percent property tax increase properly rejected by our citizens.
Mr. Greenstein, while I applaud your sense of initiative in raising issues like this, the PWEA has already provided you with very specific and concrete measures school board members can use to slow the runaway train of property tax increases caused by out of control school board spending. Why not look to slow our spending rather than trying to find other ways to fund it? You and the entire public are invited to attend a public forum on the latest school budget (March 23, 7:30 p.m, public library) and its effect on property taxes. As always the PWEA will illicit comments from the community and we will once again compile and distribute detailed ideas for your attention. Many of the solutions to run away property taxes are within your control; you just need to decide to do it.