Malverne school budget sparks racial dispute
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“For years — and this has been hell for years — I just hear constant criticism,” he added. “I’ve never heard something constructive and positive, no matter what this district does — it is never enough, it never has been enough, it’s always negative, it’s always negative.”
Following Tulley’s counterpoint, Trustee Michael Taylor — the only African-American board member present at the meeting — said that he has been “dealt more knives than somebody in the circus,” alluding to the perceived lack of black role models for the district’s student body since he was elected to the school board two years ago.
“Everything that somebody says when they get up to that table is not a lie, and everything somebody says behind this table is not a lie,” said Taylor. “If you got a solid plan, you got a solid foundation, let’s make it work — because right now, if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going to get what you get, and what we’re getting right now is nothing. Nobody’s going to realize that in order for this to work, forget about black, forget about white … if you don’t spend money on education, we will fail. If money’s going to be spent on anything, it should be spent on education until we go broke, because that’s the only way to stop the ignorance that’s been going on over here for years!”
Taylor added, “We don’t have to vote on that now, so I can leave,” before he collected his belongings and walked out, slamming the door behind him.
Neither Tulley nor Taylor could be reached for comment.
Later in the meeting, parents and residents voiced their concerns about the district’s apparent lack of interest in hiring minority teachers. Michele Reed, a graduate of Malverne High whose two children are enrolled in the district, said that the problem has lingered in the district since the mid-1980s despite her own recommendations of educators to administrators.