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Dwyer Defends Black, BOE Actions

Former school board president says flyers slamming Huntington BOE are irresponsible.

In the past week I've received three flyers making claims that Elizabeth Black, and by extension, the Huntington School Board has been irresponsible in it's spending in the past six years. As president of the board for three of those years I feel compelled to set the record straight on this matter.

First, school boards across New York are faced with multiple factors beyond their control that continually increase costs. In addition to countless unfunded mandates, school boards have little leverage in negotiations with their employee unions as witnessed by the fact that the Huntington teachers are currently working without a contract because it is financially better than any deal they could negotiate. I don't blame them for it, they are just playing by the rules as they exist today.

As to the reality of the comparative spending by the Huntington School Board, data pulled from the Tax Report Cards published by all NY school districts provides an enlightened perspective for those tax increases.

Over the past six years the majority of districts on Long Island have seen decreases in enrollment as people are being driven out by the local economy. In contrast, Huntington schools have seen the fourth largest increase in enrollment of the 125 school districts reporting on Long Island in this period.  This increase in enrollment has brought with it a change in demographics that require additional teachers to provide state mandated support services for these new children. Despite these forces acting to increase costs, Huntington's spending per pupil saw the second smallest increase of all districts on Long Island over this period, a truly admirable feat.  Finally, and most importantly, each budget in those six years was approved by a vote of the community, last year by an incredible 2 to 1 margin. This annual budget vote is a standard of acceptance unique to school boards as elected bodies and one I daresay, would make other community "leaders" shudder.

I guess those who created the recent flyers slamming Ms. Black adhere to the axiom "Don't let the facts get in the way of a good story." This is not the attitude I want to see from anyone vying to be my elected representative.

Bill Dwyer
Huntington

Patched Out 2 October 14, 2011 at 12:02 PM
I think that approach sounds good....
Andrea October 14, 2011 at 12:06 PM
Agreed J... My main concerns are what is being done about the drugs and gangs (and thus the violence). The drug problems in Huntington and surrounding areas scare the hell out of me. All these high school kids running around with easy access to heroin! It's insane.
Kara October 14, 2011 at 12:08 PM
A lot of anti-immigrant stuff going on here. It's unfortunate and not neccessary. The issues that matter most in the 18th I think depend on where you live in the 18th.
Bobby Jaxx October 14, 2011 at 12:09 PM
You know what Andrea? I am sick to death of you thinking that you know everything, especially about me. What I have issues with are the illegal foreigners, who in our town just happen to be overwhelmingly hispanic. I do know the people I speak about; they live in my neighborhood. David is right; you are a race baiter. Maybe you should start hanging out with Al Sharpton. Oh, and maybe you didn't say it, but you certainly insinuated it with your comment "I hope your ancestors weren't Italian, Irish, German etc - who in first waves generally came over as single men with the intentions of making their money and going back to their countries as rich men." Well, my ancestors were...and they stayed, and became Americans....oh and not German-Americans....just Americans. Considering this thread started out as thing regarding SD#3, I'm sorry I got involved, but I do wish good luck to you all. You'll need it.
Bobby Jaxx October 14, 2011 at 12:10 PM
That would be Illegal Hispanic Foreigners, Andrea. Get it right.

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