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Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Cuts approved in Valley Stream high schools
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Shane Molinari/Herald
Sharon Daly implored school board members to reconsider transportation changes.

The rifle team, which has won seven consecutive state championships — its most recent coming earlier this month — garnered the most support from students, parents and residents.

Danielle Cuomo, a senior at Central and captain of the team, spoke on behalf of her younger teammates. “I’m here to fight for their future and for their dreams,” she said, “because they should have the same opportunity as I had.” Residents cited the number of college scholarships that rifle team members have garnered over the years as a reason to keep the team — including Cuomo, who will attend West Point in the fall as a cadet and a rifle competitor.

Former board member Ian Wraith, whose son Sean is a member of the team, compared cutting the team with the board’s decision to close the auto repair shop in 2011. “If the auto shop was operating at the level of the rifle team,” Wraith said, “they’d be fixing NASCARs right now.”

When the cuts in athletics were proposed in February, Heidenreich said that the reason he chose the sports he did was because their per-athlete costs were among the highest in the district.

Voters’ turn to decide

Virginia Clavin-Higgins, a village trustee and a private-school parent, asked the board to table its decision on adopting the budget until next month in order to allow more time for safety concerns to be addressed. Following public comment, Iadevaio made a motion to table the decision until April, but it was voted down, 7-2.

Board Trustee Jeanne Greco Jacobs said that while she respects residents’ concerns about transportation and athletics, her goal is to ensure educational opportunities for students. “The majority of our cuts are coming from our core program,” she said. “We’re letting teachers go. It’s going to affect children and the educational opportunities they will see going forward.” Jacobs added that the education cuts were the most upsetting to her.

Residents will vote on the spending plan, which requires a simple majority to pass, on May 21. If it fails, the board can put it up for a vote again. If it fails a second time, another estimated $3 million in mandatory cuts would automatically take effect, Heidenreich said.


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There is a simple way to bridge the problematic budget the VSCHSD is facing. Stop caving to the teacher's union! Especially in the High schools you are dealing with young adults, not toddlers. Class sizes of 28 - 30 should not be challenge to a teacher. Also, perhaps consolidation of departments and deploying teachers to more than one school building throughout the day would maximize our outlay for the teaching staff - which currently eats close to 70% of the 106 million dollar budget between salaries and benefits. The ones that are paying here are the children. They have less opportunities than even 5 years ago. Successful, NYS championship teams are being cut - and not because of a money issue, but because there is a prejudice against the sport. Don't blame the guns, they cannot do these heinous things themselves, blame the people. Violence can be done with any inanimate object - golf clubs, baseball bats, knives - not the mention the effects of people driving under the influence of either alcohol or their cell phones! The mental health system is missing the signs of those people who have used guns in a misguided attempt to make their worlds right again, or stop their own pain.

Friday, April 12, 2013 | Report this

I was a resident of Valley Stream for many years and an alumni of VS Central class of 1980. I feel compelled to let everyone know the most recent underhanded behavior of your elected school board officials. If you have been reading the Herald you are aware of the ongoing budget battles over cuts to several sport programs. One of those programs which is dear to my heart is the Rifle Team. Now I would prefer not to get into the political standpoints of gun control as everyone's will differ. But I feel everyone needs to know that the members of the rifle team, which has been a leading award winning team for many years over and the range which not only housed the team for the High School but also the Police Athletic League was closed without notice this evening.

I have just learned that the members of the PAL rifle team were present at Memorial Jr High School for their regularly scheduled practice and found all the locks changed by the school board without notice. There were no members of the what I will call the spineless school board on hand to explain the action but it was left to the schools janitor to deliver a note to the coach.

Is this the way that VS really wants to end the illustrious records of this award winning team? I cannot believe the audacity of the School Board who did not at least have the decency and respect towards the coaches and our children to be on hand to explain their actions but hide a school employee to deliver the final blow. They should be ashamed of themselves and I believe it's about time that VS elect themselves a new school board

Friday, May 10, 2013 | Report this
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