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School cutbacks should be justified

To the Adirondack Journal:

Your Viewpoint column of April 21 in support of "our traditional core values," refers to "recognizing honest differing opinions and a sense of fairness."

The April 28 issue of the Adirondack Journal contains a full-page story titled "Locals rally at Capitol to protest state mandates," in which a school board member says "by merely repealing a few key laws, school districts would have millions of dollars more annually to spend on providing a quality education."

The laws summarized as suitable for repeal relate to teachers' bargaining rights, wages for workers on school construction, restrictions on purchases of materials and equipment, special education procedures, and payments to teachers during protracted contract negotiations.

Page 18 of the same issue carries a story headed "Lake George Central School stays within tax cap," in which a superintendent and two business managers speak highly of the cooperation of teachers and school staffs (one business manager:

"I went to each of the bargaining units...and asked if they would have an interest in making some concessions to help us lower our tax rate and that staff association willingly did so," the school superintendent said.

The same administrator lists positions to be eliminated in that school district as a high school math teacher, a remedial reading teacher, two special education teachers, and two teaching assistants, together with reductions in spending on supplies, a hold on classroom equipment purchases, elimination of a custodian position, and a bus run and driver.

In light of your reference to "honest differing opinions and a sense of fairness," I look forward to reading similarly extended coverage of the experience of teachers and school staff on this topic.

I am a taxpayer and I value education, but I am not a school official or board member, nor am I or teacher.

So, along with other readers, I would be fascinated to learn in the Adirondack Journal from those who can speak to the specifics of what quality education may be achieved, with the extra millions of dollars available annually, through the elimination of teachers, school staffs, and services; also how the resulting reductions in personal tax payments and local spending on groceries, etc., will benefit the community.

Sincerely,

Alfred Hyslop

Chestertown

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