Letter To The Editor: Board of Ed


I’m sorry to see our proposed Port Washington school budget has an increase of over $2,600,000 that comes with a tax increase. Today many people are struggling with economic and health problems. School costs for certain activities should have been reduced in recent months. Maintenance, utility costs, overtime, teacher aides and assistants and busing costs should all be down.

Half our teachers now earn more than $123,000/yr and have very generous pension and other benefits, so hopefully a salary freeze for teachers with 20+ years could be negotiated in the new contract. With all of these facts in mind, I thought our BOE could present a frozen or even slightly lower budget.

While our budget may be approved, I’m voting “No”.

-Frank J. Russo, Jr.
Pres., Port Washington Educational Assembly (PWEA)


  1. As a mother to a child with special needs that will need services in place within our district, I can’t vote no. As we’ve learned in this pandemic, teachers are more essential than ever – and they deserve an appropriate salary to reflect that. $123k per year in Port Washington isn’t poverty, but it’s not overpay by any means when we take into account our cost of living in this community. How does an educator afford to live in their community when they can’t afford the rent or mortgage? To attract the best educators you need the best salaries. Period.
    I encourage everyone to pass this budget. It is a modest increase at worst, and we need to place more emphasis on education in this country.

  2. sorry to disagree Pamela – and, so you understand, I had 3 children who went through and graduated the Port schools – one of which was learning disabled and never got sufficient resources, although the “resource room” teachers were amazing with the little they were given from the district to work with — my advice to you would be to stay very involved and watch your child with a keen eye to make sure he/she receives what they deserve .

    It wasn’t until College – New School University Music & Voice “Contemporary Music” program that her genius in music despite learning disabilities was discovered, nurtured and — she would up graduating completely “on time”, with stellar grades and even won an award for Voice. – It was at the University that she was “sent for special testing” at Long Island Jewish’s program (if you haven’t looked into it yet for your child? I encourage you to do so – it was life changing for my daughter ) – as a result of that testing she was given all the resources possible during college to not only achieve, but excell.

    however – as Frank Russo pointed out so succinctly in his letter – the district has “saved a bundle ” with the Covid crisis – and I will add – did a very poor job of online teaching of it’s students — who only received the barest of minimum hours online ( I believe it was 40 minutes 2 x per week ?? — at FULL salary? – NO !) and instead were given hours and hours of homework that overwrought parents who were trying to work THEIR jobs from home had to TEACH their children — sorry, unacceptable and the District needs to do better for our children

    based on my experiences in the school system and now, their minimalist response to our children’s education during this Covid crisis ….. I too, my family and friends will all be voting NO – and will be backing Adam Block, an economic expert who actually worked on million dollar budgets for the US Congress – it’s time for new blood on the Board.


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