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Why is anyone listening to a group that has shown us no proof of how they support education, only attacks on the school board and the budget, and have no personal interest in maintaining its high educational standards. Instead, let's stick to some indisputable facts that Newsday is reporting: Of all 56 Nassau County school districts, Port Washington ranks 7 highest in graduation (95 percent) and 12th in Regents Diploma rates (93 percent), yet 50th in proposed budget increases. Now that proves outstanding academic achievement and fiscal responsibility.

PWEA's latest ad is shouting about CPI (Consumer Price Index), but we don't live in a community where the standard of living follows the average CPI and they know that. They continue to mislead and compare apples to oranges by simply looking at the budget increases versus CPI, but neglect to fairly make similar comparisons on academic achievement. Somehow I doubt most areas that follow this average CPI can cite anywhere near the same soaring achievements as our school district.

The ultimate goals of any school district are academic achievement and fiscal responsibility. We already know we have great academic achievement. As to fiscal responsibility, this quote speaks for itself: "Port's budget is as tight as we've seen in any school district," according to Independent Auditor R.S. Abrams. How could the district be bilking us out of millions of taxpayer dollars as the PWEA accuses without an auditor uncovering that?

Some parents said they've felt no effect from being on contingency this year. However, not only does it takes more than one year on an austerity budget to truly feel the effects, but recovery can cost a district much more in the long run than the modest increases being requested now. It takes up to five years to recover from every year a district is on contingency. So if the budget doesn't pass again this year, it could take up to 10 years to get back on track. This means that the balance of most of our children's educations may be affected. Whether or not you have children in the school system, this is outrageous and inexcusable, and will not bode well with future homebuyers looking for a nice community with a good school system to raise their families.

No one wants tax increases, but our schools have always been revered as one of the best on Long Island. Please don't let a misguided, self-promoting group cast a pall over our children, their education and the community overall.

Debbie Greco


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