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Hauppauge Parents Petition For District-Wide Wage Freeze

More than 225 residents sign petition asking district employees to take pay freeze to save jobs, lower tax levy.

More than 225 Hauppauge residents have signed a petition asking the district’s teachers, teaching assistants and staff members to take a voluntary wage freeze in 2011-2012 to preserve class size and further lower the proposed 3.46 percent tax levy increase.

“There is a lot of discontent within the community. We would like to have a voice in saying maybe we can all work together to keep our teachers in the classroom doing what they do best and keeping the class size down,” said resident La Young Trantum, as she presented the petition at Tuesday’s board meeting.

The that calls for the elimination of 23 teaching positions and five teaching assistants. If approved on May 17, it will result in 16 teachers and three assistants being laid off after retirements and attrition are taken into account.

The proposed teaching cuts would bring the average class size up to 28 students at and , Superintendent Patricia Sullivan-Kriss said.

“The board members are all saying the children are not getting the fundamentals, so then how is increasing the class size going to help,” said a Hauppauge resident, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution.

Parents have repeatedly voiced concerns over growing class sizes at district budget meetings. According to New York State School Report Card, the average class size for Hauppauge 10th graders ranged in size from 18 students in mathematics to 25 students in science classes during the 2009-2010 school year.

Many are hoping the petitions will provide support to the district, who is in the middle of open contract negotiations with four out of five of its unions, including the teachers and teaching assistants unions, whose contracts expire this June.

Sullivan-Kriss and her three assistant superintendents have already agreed to take 

The superintendent had board members remove $300,000 from the 2011-2012 budget, lowering the tax levy from 4.14 percent to 3.46 percent, based on her belief in the negotiations’ direction. 

Other Long Island districts whose teachers have taken a pay freeze or made concessions this year include Brentwood, Copiague, East Islip, Half Hollow Hills, Huntington, Port Jefferson, Shoreham-Wading River and Three Village, according to Trantum.

“There are people who think the petition is about taking money away from the teachers and punishing the teachers,” Trantum said. “We want to support the teachers. We cannot layoff people in this economy. They won’t find another job.”

Christopher D'Antonio April 18, 2011 at 07:34 PM
I would like to note and applaud the signatories of the petition being discussed for sparking a constructive community discussion, and encouraging our involvement in school district policy. Thank you!
concerned citizen too April 19, 2011 at 02:00 PM
LISTEN concerned citizen I can see you have not done your research! NOT every teacher is out the door at 3! Perhaps, MAYBE the high school teacher who ends his day at 2:15, which would be 45 minutes AFTER their day 'ends' as you say. NO elementary teacher walks out that door with the last kid. Ever go into the schools hours after the children leave and see some teachers still there working????? I HAVE! This "180 day a year" job as you call it... is NOTHING new. It was around when YOU choses YOUR profession... why didn't YOU choose such an "easy" job not worthy of the pay teachers receive... if it was so easy and short on days, why is it that YOU didn't CHOOSE it? Hmm??? And another thing... teachers don't take their sick days as "PAID vacation"... get your facts straight before you start attacking a profession that can be CHOSEN by anyone and has DIRECT influence on the world YOU live in! SO the teachers take a pay freeze THIS year. What happens NEXT year?????
concerned citizen too April 19, 2011 at 02:05 PM
Finally.... a "Voice of Reason"!
concerned citizen too April 19, 2011 at 02:07 PM
Teachers can and do get 'fired'... I have seen it happen... check out our own Hauppauge district. You are unaware, but just recently a couple WERE let go...
Haup21 April 19, 2011 at 08:51 PM
Why is our budget increasing yet we are getting less each year ? Hauppauge School Budgets Year Budgets Enrollmnt $/student 2010-2011 94,024,689 4,038 23,285 2009-2010 92,842,044 4,083 22,739 2008-2009 91,503,731 4,097 22,334 2007-2008 87,193,739 4,123 21,148 2006-2007 82,292,361 4,202 19,584 2005-2006 80,423,385 4,223 19,044 2004-2005 72,813,397 4,285 16,993 2004 to 2010 chg 21,211,292 (247) 6,292 Our budget increased by $21M yet enrollment went down by 6%. The cost per student went up $6K per year yet we are getting less and less each year. source: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/mgtserv/propertytax/

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