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THE FUTURE OF OUR DISTRICT

1/3/99

 

   On February 9, 1998, citizens of Plainview-Old Bethpage will make an important decision about the future of our school district.  On that day, voters will be asked to authorize the sale of bonds by the district to finance the expansion of our facilities to accommodate the expected increase in enrollment of approximately 1000 students over the next five years.   It is imperative that the bond referendum be passed.

    Like it or not, new students will be entering our district.  They must be provided for, and their arrival must not be permitted to lower the quality of the education we provide to our current school population.  To meet the challenges posed by this sharp increase of enrollment, the Board of Education created  an Enrollment Task Force made up people from a broad spectrum of community life to study how best to meet the needs of the district.   Parents, teachers, school administrators, senior citizens - representatives of any group that wished to be represented - came together and hammered out a recommendation that almost every member could support.  People who had often been at odds on school issues found common ground, transcending their differences for the welfare of our school district.

    With some minor modifications, the Board of Education adopted the recommendations of the Enrollment Task Force.  When voters approve the bond referendum on February 9th, the Pasadena School will be refurbished and reopened.  All of our elementary schools will get new library/media centers, expanded all-purpose rooms and some extra classroom space.   Kennedy High School, already overcrowded, will get an addition that will provide for some twenty new instructional spaces, modernization of all of its science laboratories and badly needed space for art instruction.

    These improvements will be accomplished with a very modest impact on the tax rate.  For little more than one dollar per hundred of assessed valuation, we will be able to continue to provide the high quality education that has allowed us to compete very favorably with districts with far greater economic resources. 

    The expansion plan adopted by the Board of Education is a good one and worth of the support of every citizen of the community.  The way in which it was created should serve as a model for what this community can accomplish when it pulls together for the common good.

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