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Op-Ed: Negotiate in Private

A concerned parent shares her thoughts about last week’s school budget meeting where 300 teachers walked out.

is a Lindenhurst of nine-plus years and a concerned parent with two children in elementary school.

She is speaking about where 300 teachers walked out after an exchange between Board of Education President Ed Murphy, Jr. and () President .

Here’s what she has to say:

Mrs. Russo spoke eloquently during the meeting and received a standing ovation from teachers and community members alike. She talked about teachers being scapegoats for a dysfunctional government in Albany, and I agree with her wholeheartedly.

Instead of blaming our teachers for contracts which have been negotiated in good faith – (which, by the way, Mr. Murphy continually tells us are negotiated in private) – why don't we let our state government know that after we have bailed out Wall Street gamblers with our tax dollars, we would like to see some pay back from Wall Street by way of a one-cent transaction tax – that's one penny for each trade on Wall Street – that would come back to our schools?

Our teachers are not the criminals here. Politicians and Wall Street thieves are, and our children need to be educated properly (by our outstanding teachers) in core subjects, as well as fine art, music, computer skills, enhanced education services – yes, that's Special Education, Orion (gifted and talented), and the Alternative Learning Center (ALC), some of which are mandated and/or funded, some not, but which are all important – to prepare them for the future.

Educated adults should be our collective goal – preparing our children for well-paying jobs in science and technology, so that the good jobs aren't out-sourced, leaving our citizens unemployed and underemployed and lowering our tax basis.

Negotiate fair contracts with our teachers, in private.

Mr. Murphy, I think you owe all of us an apology for letting your temper get the better – or worse – of you. While the teachers should not have left the auditorium, you were wrong to offer negotiation points in a public forum, as was Mr. Vitiello for telling us to have our children ask their teachers not to take a pay raise.

Lindy Native April 26, 2011 at 03:55 PM
You don't find it EXTREMELY inappropriate for a student to challenge a teachers salary. I believe that to be very disrespectful.
Geri Sullivan April 26, 2011 at 05:59 PM
I totally agree with Lindy Mom, and what I find EXTREMELY inappropriate, Lindy Native, is a teacher discussing their salary and benefits with the students in the first place. My son is a student in the high school, and he has come home on more than one occasion saying his teachers have pushed the students to tell their parents how to vote. I don't discuss my salary with my children. Why should their teachers?
Lindy Native April 26, 2011 at 06:05 PM
Right..."a teacher..." not all teachers. And that is hypocritical to say when all that is being said here is that the students should challenge their teacher's salaries and the teachers should discuss their salaries and contracts in the public eye. So I don't exactly understand what you mean by why should their teachers discuss their salary? And once again..."a teacher"!
TERRY April 30, 2011 at 01:23 AM
i would like to see a list of all the people who work in the administration , including their salaries benifets and perks. Could someone tell me why a school maintainence truck in always parked in front of a private residence in lindenhurst. Why do assistant principles not teach a class , aren't they teachers? why don"t gym teachers coach a team sport as part of the salary. How much money are we spending to send teachers and the administraters to conferences THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT WE SHOULD CUT FIRST THEN COME BACK TO THE TAXPAYER TO ASK FOR A TAX INCREASE
Brian May 12, 2011 at 02:44 PM
I find it very inappropriate that the first thing said about any budget is " if it doesnt pass we will be forced to cut music, sports and art programs".....that's blatantly threatening. And a lie. Here is what needs to be cut and wont be because of the bureaucracy and lack of backbone; Pay freeze; from the superintendents to the janitors no pay raise. Head count; take a look at the total # of superintendants and staff, are they really all needed ?Is multi-tasking a dirty word ?

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