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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

More Protests

An operative tells me that the Lawrence Teachers Association is again picketing in front of Dr. Mansdorf's office, for the second time this week. It is clear that they are making every effort to affect his livelihood. There have been claims made that they are targeting all of the board members homes and businesses, not just those of the Orthodox board members. That may be the case (though I have not seen or heard any word of it.) However, I am not sure why that would at all be a mitigating factor. The fact that they are even considering picketing in front of these board members homes, and disrupting the lives of the board members neighbors and families - particularly their children - shows me that these teachers are not concerned with treating other people with respect. They claim that they are being mistreated because the board is not negotiating with them on their new contract in good faith. Well, whether that is the case or not (and please recall that teachers in Lawrence are among the highest-paid in the country), to mistreat people in return is simply not the way I expect or would hope that the people who are entrusted to educate our district's children would behave.

Obviously, the LTA themselves never learned the Golden Rule.

60 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard the poilce were called, because the protesters were blocking the driveway of Asher's building.

5:57 PM  
Blogger DovBear said...

The fact that they are even considering picketing in front of these board members homes, and disrupting the lives of the board members neighbors and families

Assuming their gripe is legitimate(I have no way of knowing) where would it be appropriate for the teachers to picket?

I really hope the Orthodox community replies in kind. If they have a conterargument, they should be making it, using the same tools.

6:20 PM  
Blogger SephardiLady said...

This behavior is despicable.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when is a protest despicable sephardilady???????

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is more deplorable is the fact that over 1500 "Lawrence" residents continue to be the population who consistently vote down the budget. Furthermore, you neglected to say that our teachers pay an extremely high percentage for medical insurance out of our paychecks, so it is all relative. In addition, the fact that "so many" feel that we are not even entitled to a meager cost-of-living raise is disgusting.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are we forgetting that the salaries are already the highest?

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... And that the teachers' salaries are the most significant contributing factor to the $23k cost of educating each public school student each year (relative to $14k in neighboring districts)?

... And that when a School Board can't say no to ever-increasing teachers' salaries, taxpayers are left holding the bag?

... And that the public school students lose the most from escalating teachers' salaries? (After all, there is only one pie!)

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Teachers have automatic increases which is approximately 4%. Additionally, pension and healthcare payments are made as well. That covers cost of living increases...lets stay honest

11:12 PM  
Anonymous Fox said...

As a resident of the Midwest, I'm a relatively disinterested party in the Lawrence brouhaha. However, when phrases like "automatic increases" start getting tossed around, I have to wonder what the teachers' advocates are thinking!

I spent about 15 years as a classroom teacher in both public and private institutions, and I'm now a business owner with approximately ten employees. If I want a "cost of living increase", I have to figure out how to make my company more profitable -- either by increasing sales or lowering costs.

Even among my friends in the world of large corporations, the notion of annual pay increases just to keep doing the same work is not so common anymore. Most people are asked to show how they've increased their productivity or provided some other "value added" to the company.

Unfortunately, most public employees' unions live in a time warp -- they honestly don't understand how alienating language like "automatic increases" and "cost of living increases" are to many of us.

Maybe the teachers of Lawrence *are* entitled to more money -- I have no idea. But the way to get it is to point out ways they've improved education since their last contract or document savings the district enjoys because it employs an elite corps of teachers.

Perhaps they've made these arguments to deaf ears, but the signs and flyers don't seem to emphasize the value received by the good citizens of Lawrence in exchange for a raise.

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, so if I understand correctly, we're automatically looking at a cost per student increase of about $1k, for a record-breaking $24k/student/year? And how much more of an increase are teachers asking for? Isn't it time we ratcheted it up to $30k/student/year and then blamed programming cuts on skyrocketing private school bussing costs? That would make for a great headline: "Lawrence Teachers Set World Record for Least Education Value Per Salary Dollar"

It's time the union faced the music - our teachers have already received their cost of living increases in the current and previous contracts - TEACHERS: CHECK YOUR SAVINGS ACCOUNTS for cost of living increases.

The inflation argument only works when the salaries aren't already well above average.

How many of the district's 400 teachers even live in the district and pay for these "cost of living increases"?

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Scott said...

anon 9:43 a protest is dispicable when it is harrasment which is the case here. and anon 10:25 those who are already overpaid have a very futile argument for a cost of living adjustment unless we are discusing a decrease.

11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why anyone would want to be a teacher in a community such as yours is beyond me.

7:09 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"why anyone would want to be a teacher in a community such as yours is beyond me."


tada! stupidest comment yet. Because these teachers get paid a king's ransom to teach an ever decreasing student population.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honestly, before you post comments about the salaries of the Lawrence teachers, it might be a good idea for you to find out what the heck you are talking about.

The dispute is NOT salary, it's the fact that Dr. Mansdorf and his buddies can't seem to find the time to even sit down and discuss the issues...they made one proposal and refused to discuss it. That is unacceptable. Why can't he find the time? Is it b/c he's sitting around worrying about a few teachers who weren't giving extra-help or coaching?

There has been no interruption in the teachers daily activities. It's business as usual, services provided like always. The protesting teachers are the ones available at that time, the ones not there are the ones still sitting in the school buildings working with their students.

Seriously, you all need to get a clue before you post about something you ASSUME you know about.

Sooner or later you will want to sell your house. How are you going to do that with a school district you've destroyed?

11:58 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"Sooner or later you will want to sell your house. How are you going to do that with a school district you've destroyed?"

who's clueless?

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"who's clueless?"

That is correct. The destruction of the public schools will lead to the flight of public school families, leaving the door open for more Orthodox families to move in. As long as the demand is still there, which it will be, housing prices will ebb and flow along with the rest of the market and not see a precipitous drop.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Honestly, before you post comments about the salaries of the Lawrence teachers, it might be a good idea for you to find out what the heck you are talking about."

While it's nice to know that people with different viewpoints have an opportunity to post messages on the same blog, I would think that the real value here is to create a dialogue whereby those with differing viewpoints can actually respond to questions that are raised and help clarify some of the issues that appear to be at the root of all this dissention. In that spirit, I am copying my questions/comments from above, and I hope that someone might actually articulate an insightful response to each of them, rather than countering with a snide remark such as "it might be a good idea for you to find out what the heck you are talking about."

Are we forgetting that the salaries are already the highest?

... And that the teachers' salaries are the most significant contributing factor to the $23k cost of educating each public school student each year (relative to $14k in neighboring districts)?

... And that when a School Board can't say no to ever-increasing teachers' salaries, taxpayers are left holding the bag?

... And that the public school students lose the most from escalating teachers' salaries? (After all, there is only one pie!)

Ok, so if I understand correctly, we're automatically looking at a cost per student increase of about $1k, for a record-breaking $24k/student/year? And how much more of an increase are teachers asking for? Isn't it time we ratcheted it up to $30k/student/year and then blamed programming cuts on skyrocketing private school bussing costs? That would make for a great headline: "Lawrence Teachers Set World Record for Least Education Value Per Salary Dollar"

It's time the union faced the music - our teachers have already received their cost of living increases in the current and previous contracts - TEACHERS: CHECK YOUR SAVINGS ACCOUNTS for cost of living increases.

The inflation argument only works when the salaries aren't already well above average.

How many of the district's 400 teachers even live in the district and pay for these "cost of living increases"?

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a lot of people don't know what it takes to get these "high" salarys Lawrence teachers get paid. In order to reach this tier of salaries, teachers need to complete 90 graduate credits over their initial masters degree. This alone can be a lot of time and money to accumulate. For my masters alone I am working now, the cost will be around $28,000 over two years.

In addition to the post graduate learning the teachers must get, they also have to put a lot of time into the district. The teachers with the "highest" salaries are those with 25+ years in the district and the Masters+90 education. And the teachers who accomplish have earned the high salary they have worked for and for good reason. Lawrence currently has and has had extremely excellent teachers.

This isn't the corporate world, there isn't many if any options of 'advancement' as a teacher. There is one position, and you get paid by continually educating themselves and loyality to their district. Beyond moving into administration, your title at the beginning and the end of your career is teacher. We pay our teachers who better themselves well so they continue to educate our children in the best possible manor.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We pay our teachers who better themselves well so they continue to educate our children in the best possible manor.

the best possible "manor" (sic). I hope you are not one of those teachers drawing such a high salary.

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, I'm going for my initial master degree and teaching certification. I originally was planning on working in the computer programming industry with an average starting salary of 59,000. On the other hand now, I'll be teacher, which will probably start around 42,000. So if I even wanted draw a high salary, I have a long road of continued education and work in whatever school I end up working for.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My point was that your argument about a long expensive road of education to be a teacher in SD15 doesn't seem so impressive when you put such an obvious error into your comment. (and if it were a typo or spelling mistake, I wouldn't comment. This was a substitution of one homonym with a completely different meaning for another. "manor" for "manner")

4:52 PM  
Anonymous abc123 said...

"manor" for "manner"

stopp beying so stoopid and peddy. teechers r peepel two. I C lots of peeple misspell wurds on this site, with nary a critisizism. Im' sur it was a quikly tiped mesage. tipos happin. git over it. (It's also quite rude to mock the hard work and dedication teachers put into achieving their advanced degrees.)

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Skip said...

Speaking as a former teacher in the district, I can say that any teacher that would willing to work here is crazy. For 2 years, I had to look over my shoulder waiting for the ax to drop on my employment. Not because I was a bad teacher, but simply because we couldn't pass a budget. It will be nearly impossible to attract good young (cheap) teachers to Lawrence when they know that by the next year they can be out of a job.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do any of our resident teachers care to reply?

"Honestly, before you post comments about the salaries of the Lawrence teachers, it might be a good idea for you to find out what the heck you are talking about."

While it's nice to know that people with different viewpoints have an opportunity to post messages on the same blog, I would think that the real value here is to create a dialogue whereby those with differing viewpoints can actually respond to questions that are raised and help clarify some of the issues that appear to be at the root of all this dissention. In that spirit, I am copying my questions/comments from above, and I hope that someone might actually articulate an insightful response to each of them, rather than countering with a snide remark such as "it might be a good idea for you to find out what the heck you are talking about."

Are we forgetting that the salaries are already the highest?

... And that the teachers' salaries are the most significant contributing factor to the $23k cost of educating each public school student each year (relative to $14k in neighboring districts)?

... And that when a School Board can't say no to ever-increasing teachers' salaries, taxpayers are left holding the bag?

... And that the public school students lose the most from escalating teachers' salaries? (After all, there is only one pie!)

Ok, so if I understand correctly, we're automatically looking at a cost per student increase of about $1k, for a record-breaking $24k/student/year? And how much more of an increase are teachers asking for? Isn't it time we ratcheted it up to $30k/student/year and then blamed programming cuts on skyrocketing private school bussing costs? That would make for a great headline: "Lawrence Teachers Set World Record for Least Education Value Per Salary Dollar"

It's time the union faced the music - our teachers have already received their cost of living increases in the current and previous contracts - TEACHERS: CHECK YOUR SAVINGS ACCOUNTS for cost of living increases.

The inflation argument only works when the salaries aren't already well above average.

How many of the district's 400 teachers even live in the district and pay for these "cost of living increases"?

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many of the district's 400 teachers even live in the district and pay for these "cost of living increases"?

You're right. The teachers surely live in districts with low taxes.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not know. It seems teachers make an awful lot of money and only teach about 3 hours and 40 minutes aday. They say that some are paid 1500 dollars for 10 minutes of bus duty a day. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers, Little League and every other group pays 50 dollars an hour to use the buildings because we have no money. Is is true that the Union President only works 3 periods a day, gets off by lunchtime and still gets a fulltime salary?

That is not my point though. Maybe the teachers really are underpaid and disrespected. Maybe the poor student performances are due to other reasons and should not be attributed to the teaching staff. If the Union could just post the schedule of teacher salaries and what they are paid for extra work then most people would be able to disregard the rhetoric and instead make informed decisions. Further, what if a few residents put a referendum on the ballot saying the Board should grant the teachers say a 3 or 3.5 percent yearly increase. Even if the referendum were not binding,and it might be, this would represent either an extreme vote of confidence for the teachers or a repudiation of their position. The referendum would generate debate with legitimate long term projections of what the increase would actually cost. The teachers could then prove in writing, rather than rhetoric, how many millions of dollars their proposals would save the district. At the same time, those who believe that the teachers are already well paid and adequately compensated would also be able to use hard facts, rather than rhetoric to make their positions clear. I would think that reasonable people, especially anyone who believes in education would believe in a process that causes more transparency and less confusion. In a nutshell, let's see the current teachers contract and have a public referendum.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...what if a few residents put a referendum on the ballot saying the Board should grant the teachers say a 3 or 3.5 percent yearly increase."

I think the anonymous 6:18 post has a great idea. No one can speak better on the public's perception of the teacher's worth and the quality of their work than the public themselves. A completely transparent contract negotiation process, opened, at all levels, to public scrutiny, would best ensure that all voices are heard. This could be easily done and put up with this year's budget and school board trustee positions. This should be seriously pursued by any and all groups that truly see themselves as in the right.

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fact: the Lawrence Teachers may ONCE have been one of the highest paid faculties on Long Island. That's old old news though.

Fact: a good many of the teachers at Lawrence are either district residents or graduates whose families and friends still live in the district.

Fact: Yes, people leaving the district will make more room for orthodox families to buy. My question is...Once the Orthodox are ready to leave the the area and retire or move on to another area...how do they intend to sell their houses? A friend of mine recently sold a house for 500,000 to an orthodox family. WAY OVER PRICED for the street. There is no way they will ever make their money back on that house once the school district is destroyed.

FACT: voting against the budget is surely a form of racism since you are voting against giving the best education to NON-orthodox students

FACT: the vultures are circling. I bet you see a lot of early retirements and a number of neighboring districts vying for those 'high' paid teachers you are so hot about. I know for a fact that one district has approached a number of teachers and offered them immediate tenure and same salary...how can that be if the Lawrence Teachers are the HIGHEST paid teachers on the island?

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're wrong! I live in the district and teach in the district and have children that attend the public schools in the district. So yes I do pay the high school taxes, but I have a beautiful home and I am very proud of where I live. I am smart enough to know that the school is the hub of the community, the school is what dictates property values. Why would anybody want to destroy the community, thus destroying the value of their home?
Yes teachers can leave and go elsewhere to teach, and don't be fooled they are. The flight has begun and you will probably soon read of that. Teachers can teach anywhere and do their jobs with little or no interference from those who truly have no idea of what they do. Wear the shoes of a teacher for one month, I challenge you, and then say the same thing. What happened to the days when teachers were respected? Who would want to work in a district or any job for that matter, where you are not respected. This is just great soon very few people will want to live in this area causing its virtual collapse. Good job! Is that the fault of the teachers or the fault of the community and its ignorance?
Why should teachers have to fight for financial security? Nobody questions the high and above customary fees that doctors(including dentists) and lawyers charge. What about other Civil Service employees that make over 100,000.00 dollars a year. (Toll collectors for one example)Now there is good value for your dollar. I am tired of defending my salary, I am highly educated, work extremely hard and love what I do. I do not make enough money to live as comfortably as you suggest therefore I work odd jobs after my regular school day, that begins at 7:00 AM and seldom ends before 4:00 PM on school property. Ask the children of teachers how many additional hours of work is done at home? And when all is said and done, yes! I have a summer job as well. So get your facts straight! And before you make false statements about our pay scale you should further research it, I am certain all of you have learned to do some basic research from one of your teachers. It is a sad time when those of you who reap from the benefits of good teachers are willing to diminish the character of all teachers. What is even sadder is that we all know that our greatest and most valued investment is the investment we make in our children. At some point you are going to get what you pay for. Start your little revolution in Lawrence but be sure that your little revolutionary idea will travel and once the damage is done, we will have to live with it, then istead of districts we will be looking for new states who knows, even countries, then what? Once again my hat is off to those of you who are too shallow to see the long term problem here.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Fact: the Lawrence Teachers may ONCE have been one of the highest paid faculties on Long Island. That's old old news though."

Tell that to the New York Times. As of May 15, 2005, the NYT determined that LPS teachers are the second highest paid on Long Island. Is that really old news? Have their salaries plummeted in the last 9 months? The only LI district that surpasses LPS in salaries is Manhasset and US News says they're from the two 20 schools nationwide.

"Fact: a good many of the teachers at Lawrence are either district residents or graduates whose families and friends still live in the district."

Is there anyone that can reveal just how many of the 392 district teachers live in the district?

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there are 21 of them at the high school and another 10 or so who grew up in the district and whose parents/family/friends still live here. that's 1/3 of the faculty at that building.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How up to date was the info provided by the NY TIMES? Are you sure that all the districts on Long Island provided them with info? Or is it possible that they based their information on the reports of perhaps 1/3 of the districts?

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the NYT is pretty comprehensive. Here's what they say about LPS teachers:

DISTRICT: Lawrence
TEACHERS MAKING $100,000 OR MORE: PERCENTAGE -- 25%
TEACHERS MAKING $100,000 OR MORE: NUMBER -- 91
MEDIAN SALARY: $80,151
MEDIAN YRS. OF EXPERIENCE: 14

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The more I read the comments, the more I realize how ignorant many of you are. When configuring a budget there are many variables to consider: One major fact is the amount of children receiving services in the Lawrence district: BOTH PRIVATE AND PUBLIC schools. This creates a tremendous cost to the tax payers, factor that in. Any intelligent person understand that statistics can be and most often are skewed to read certain ways. Try this: look at the % of the 25% of the teachers making over 100,000.00 when you figure out the # and realize that it is those who dedicated 20 -30 years of their lives to educate the youth of our community you may realize it isn't really such a high salary anymore. This is so petty, what is the real issue? Working 14 years for 81,000.00 while maintaining a higher level education does not seem too "crazy" to me. Working in a district that openly and publicly disrespects its teachers is what is crazy.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a parent in the community and I need to know: Why is it that nobody ever questions the administrator's salaries?
Lawrence has one of the poorest displays of administration yet they make big competitive salaries that are never qestioned? Remember who it is that educates the children.

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad someone mentioned the services provided to the non-public school special needs students. Lawrence was at the forefront when putting personal into the private schools to service ALL it's district residents. They have a highly qualified team of teachers who go into the Yeshiva's many districts on long island and certainly NYC couldn't care less. Once you pull your child out of the public school they don't care. Lawrence has always been mindful of this and is currently worried about what is going to happen to the students they will no longer be allowed to service. There are 2 completely separate issues happening here also. The budget is one issue, the teacher's contract is another. There is no justification for not sitting down and talking about the teacher's contract and at this point I have to wonder if it makes sense to vote down yet another budget.

12:40 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

They have a highly qualified team of teachers who go into the Yeshiva's many districts on long island and certainly NYC couldn't care less.

What you are saying used to be the case, but it is no longer so simple. Since the budget battles began, it has begun much tougher for Orthodox kids to get services. In Kulanu, a program for special needs Orthodox children, many district children in the past have qualified for services. This year, almost every single child was denied services.

And your point about NYC is actually incorrect. As a matter of fact, a friend of mine was extremely annoyed when she had her daughter evaluated for speech therapy in SD #15 a few months ago. The evaluator found that her daughter had some speech articulation issues, but that they were not severe enough to qualify for district services. She then went to have her daughter evaluated by a speech therapist who does private evaluations as well as evaluations for NYC. The therapist was SHOCKED that the child was denied services by the district, and said that there is no doubt in her mind that the girl would be receiving services for her level of speech issues if she lived in NYC. So I don't think you are up to date in your asessment.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This year, almost every single child was denied services."

Darn. It appears that the conspiracy to hurt Orthodox children, which involves hundreds of district employees, is finally becoming unraveled. I'm sure you have plenty of proof that the district was without merit in their decisions. I'm also sure that you are aware of, but choose to ignore, the fact that countless public school parents feel that their children are entitled services that they are denied. These constant anti-Semitic insinuations are bordering on a full blown persecution complex.

8:45 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

These constant anti-Semitic insinuations are bordering on a full blown persecution complex.

Anti-Semitism? Who said anything about anti-Semitism. Find me one place where I mention that. I do, however, feel that there is a pervasive anti-private school sentiment expressed (just look at every ad put out by the public school community during the past few elections). There are insinuations made on a regular basis that everything that is wrong with the public school system is the fault of the private school community.

11:50 PM  
Blogger DovBear said...

I spent about 15 years as a classroom teacher in both public and private institutions, and I'm now a business owner with approximately ten employees. If I want a "cost of living increase", I have to figure out how to make my company more profitable -- either by increasing sales or lowering costs.

Or, you can raise prices. And that's why automatic COL increases are necessary, because prices - for gas, for fuel, for food, for rent - inevitably go up.

11:05 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

And that's why automatic COL increases are necessary, because prices - for gas, for fuel, for food, for rent - inevitably go up.

That may be the case, but it is not necessarily the case when the contract is already bloated, as is the case here. In this district, teachers are the 2nd highest paid in Nassau county. An additional point is that it we are not talking about a simple contract with a simple COL increase factored in. The contract itself is extremely complicated, with 28 levels of compensation calculations. The equation is not a simple one.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Darn. It appears that the conspiracy to hurt Orthodox children, which involves hundreds of district employees, is finally becoming unraveled. I'm sure you have plenty of proof that the district was without merit in their decisions. I'm also sure that you are aware of, but choose to ignore, the fact that countless public school parents feel that their children are entitled services that they are denied. These constant anti-Semitic insinuations are bordering on a full blown persecution complex."

There's no need to implicate any conspiracy on hundreds of employees. The school board has now retained a law firm with unparalleled proficiency at contesting special ed. cases. After denying special ed. services for their children, the district's special ed. director has told these parents that it never would have happened if they had supported the budget.

Call it "persecution complex," "paranoia," "conspiracy illusions" or anything else, but there's no need to look farther than the numbers. The district has 4,200 private school children and 3,300 public school children. From the 4,200 private school students, only 331 have been approved for special ed. services. From the 3,300 public school students, 618 have been approved for special ed. services. Now, that's a pretty huge disparity! Care to explain?

9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

care to explain? easily. It's like a broken record on this site. The public school population is one of the most poverty stricken in the county. (behind only Roosevelt, Hempstead, Westbury, Uniondale and Freeport) Might these kids need more special ed. support? perhaps. Any crack babies entering the private schools of the five towns? doubtful. in the public schools? absolutely.

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and another thing. special ed. is very expensive. if a budget passed, I suppose more money would be available for special ed. services. the district probably, under 3 years of austerity budgets, is only classifying students as special ed. if mandated by law to do so. they can't go over and above without the funds, and I see nothing wrong with a public school employee advocating for the students that they serve by encouraging others to vote for the budget.

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I see nothing wrong with a public school employee advocating for the students that they serve by encouraging others to vote for the budget"

Whether or not you see anything wrong with it, it's outright discriminatory.

"The public school population is one of the most poverty stricken in the county."

Not very convincing for that significant a disparity - especially in light of the fact that the overwhelming majority of rejections/denials have occurred in private school cases.
(But of course, you'll suggest that's only because most private school parents try to secure special ed. services for their children regardless if there's any need.)

12:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But of course, you'll suggest that's only because most private school parents try to secure special ed. services for their children regardless if there's any need."

Not regardless of any need. There probably is a need, but the district can only base their decisions on the results of their testing, and without the necessary funding, cannot give services to anyone that fall even slightly above the state mandated category.

"Whether or not you see anything wrong with it, it's outright discriminatory." It's outright discriminatory to encourage people to vote for a budget? Are you saying that the Orthodox should be singled out as a group, because of their religion, and NOT be asked to support the budget? As you know, the budget battle is a fierce one. Every vote counts. I wouldn't be surprised if this administator you refer to encourages everyone to vote for the budget. Do you see anti-Semitism around every corner? Do you assume that if someone says something to you that you don't want them to it's because of your religion? I said it before, and you're proving my point. It's a persecution complex. (Anyway, I'm sure the district directive for employees to "get the Orthodox" in any way they can is pretty well hidden, and district employees are sworn under oath, upon their hiring, to deny its existence to the public if the topic should ever arise.)

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a district resident. I took my daughter to get evaluated for learning and speech issue. The evaluator said very clearly that if she had been in the public school, then she would have qualified for speech, but she will not qualify as they would have to travel to the private school to get services. Shouldn't all district children qualify regardless of where they are located? And if the answer is that the teachers are located in the public schools, then give parents the option to bring children in to receive services after they finish school. It is unacceptable to deny services based on the fact that my daughter is already using LESS that her fair share of services.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I took my daughter to get evaluated for learning and speech issue. The evaluator said very clearly that if she had been in the public school, then she would have qualified for speech, but she will not qualify as they would have to travel to the private school to get services. "

At last, we agree. Standards should be the same for all. It's incidents like these that create the bad blood, and this particular administrator should be reprimanded. You should try complaining to the Superintendent or Asst. Superintendent.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Skip said...

Teachers are often told not to recommend students in public schools to be tested for learning disabilities. I don't know what happens to the private school students but I can tell you that the district does whatever it can to not classify students. It is a cost saving issue. I thought everyone wanted to keep the cost-per-pupil down???

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you serious? Do you really think that children living in the Lawrence school district and attending schools OUTSIDE of Nassau county are going to get services provided by the NYC Board of Ed? Rhona Leff was a fantastic advocate for ALL the children of the district. THE NYC Board of Ed isn't going to do anything to help children attending private schools in their district.

10:13 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Are you serious? Do you really think that children living in the Lawrence school district and attending schools OUTSIDE of Nassau county are going to get services provided by the NYC Board of Ed? Rhona Leff was a fantastic advocate for ALL the children of the district. THE NYC Board of Ed isn't going to do anything to help children attending private schools in their district.

Anon, I think you misunderstand the discussion. We are discussing whether services for private school children are better in NYC or Lawrence. The commenter seems to feel that had she been a NYC resident, her daughter would have received services even though she is in private school. Instead, she was informed by an evaluator for the Lawrence Public Schools that her daughter would have received speech if she was attending Public school, but that the public school wil not provide the same level of service for private school students.

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that the rhetoric here on both sides of the issue has clouded what we can really know. As a union member, Orthodox community member, and an outsider to Lawrence, I am in a position to look at this with some sympathy for all the parties.
1. It is not terribly relevant that LPS teachers have higher salaries than other teachers in Long Island. We need to view teachers salaries in the context of others with similar educations, workloads, and job related stress. Teachers have the second highest level of stress and decisions per minute of all workers, behind only air traffic controllers. They are public servants who have chosen a life of public service and do not get compensated anywhere near what their peers in education levels, professional responsibility, and job stress get paid. As compensation, they receive certain benefits and COL increases to offset their salary disparity with the private sector. Viewed as part of the overall economy, it seems a fair trade off.
2. Bargaining in good faith is a moral obligation, and if in fact the school board is refusing to sit down in negotiations, that is wrong.
3. Job actions and strikes are methods by which workers can assert strength when other means have failed. But they are only effective if used against the offending institution. Asher Mansdorf is not the target of the teachers ire, the Lawrence School Board is. Protesting against him as an individual is counterproductive and bad union tactics.
4. Job actions are not personal. By conducting a job action against individuals, the Lawrence teachers association is breaching its side of the moral equation of collective bargaining.
5. I grew up under austerity budgets in my hometown, driven by a large orthodox community. Services will get cut, and before a public school teacher accomodates a private school student, they are simply more inclined to accomodate the student already in the building. That's simply human nature. But it would be naive to suggest that a bit of political theatre is not being acted out here. If the orthodox community is so hell bent on voting down budgets, they shouldn't be surprised when they are the first to feel the sting of the ax. Thats not anti semitism, just good dirty politics.
6. It is against the Orthodox community's interest to drive out the public school community by starving the budget, which i am sure is not their agenda. When you starve the school sstem, the best teacher and middle and upper class parent will move. Good say the Orthodox, their houses will just be snapped up by more Orthodox families willing to overpay to live under the flight path of JFK. The other side of that coin is that the only people left will be the porest, and therefore, the ones most in need of the special, more expensive services. That is also a reason why per student cost is not necessarily an accurate measure of how well a school district is run. School Districts require economies of scale. if there are fewer and fewer students in the district, the perstudent cost is inevitably going to go up, at least until the tipping point is reached where real school closures and cost savings can occur.
These are just a few items I feel are worth consideration.

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