To the Editor:
I am a parent of a child who will be affected if yellow buses are cut from the Valley Stream Central High School District budget. My daughter will be attending Sacred Heart Academy in the fall, and my main concern is her safety as well as that of the other children from Sacred Heart and the other private schools who will be affected.
Although the district will give the students MetroCards, they are not considering the impact it will have on the individual student.
The bus stops are not local. I would have to drive my daughter to a bus stop, hope the bus is on schedule and give her ample time to arrive at school on time. Her school day would be extended two to three hours, and this is not including if she needs to arrive earlier and stay after for a school activity. In inclement weather, when the buses run off schedule, this would cause her to be late.
I am aware this could become a debate between public-school families and Catholic-school families, and that should not be a result of this. The high school district could not eliminate any necessary academic programs. If the concern of the district is to maintain certain extracurricular activities and certain sports programs for the public-school students in lieu of a child’s safety, that is an issue above and beyond a school budget. I would then question the integrity of the person or people who have made this proposal.
We all pay school taxes. Our children, public school or private/Catholic school educated, are our main concern when it comes to their academic, social and spiritual growth. The school district should not compromise that growth because of greed.
I invite all Valley Stream residents to the school board meeting taking place on March 12 to voice their concerns regarding this issue.
Anna M. Zumbach
To the Editor:
My children go to Catholic school. I am very upset about the possibility of the district cutting yellow bus transportation to non-public-school students. I really wonder how much money a child’s safety is worth.
There are numerous sex offenders that reside on the routes my children would have to take to school. It only takes one incident to occur before people start to take legal action. Do you want to be the person on the board who voted to have these children exposed to these offenders if something happens? How much is the safety of a child worth? I hope more than $120,000.
Secondly, Hempstead Turnpike has been declared one of the most dangerous streets to cross in America. It only takes one accident, of a child getting hit by the car while trying to make their bus. Do you want to be the board member who voted for that child to receive that MetroCard so they could go to school? How much is the safety of a child worth? I hope more than $120,000.
Finally, according to the transportation handbook, the district is to guarantee a person at every transfer stop to assure a safe transfer. Will there be someone there for my child when they are transferring from one bus to another (at each of their three transfers) or will that be forgotten too? My question is, Where is that money coming from? Will it be less than $120,000 plus the cost of the MetroCard?
I understand that it is my choice to send my child to Catholic school, however the key word is choice. If you put my child’s safety at risk, you are indirectly taking away my freedom of choice. I recognize that you have to look at the big picture, but keep in mind the bigger picture. Do you want it on your conscience that you were the member who voted this in if something should happen to any child from Valley Stream? That decision will stay with you for the rest of your life. Remember, it only takes one incident.
To the Editor:
The idea that the Central High School District is thinking of changing bus transportation for those children attending parochial school in the district is the most ludicrous and lame idea to be put forth by the district. If they do this, then all families who have their children enrolled in parochial school should be exempt from their school taxes. They are not using the resources from the schools, by their own choice, and the only thing they do get for their taxes is the bus ride for their children.
This is discriminatory as well, since it is directed at children attending religious schools rather than public schools. The school taxes in the district are astronomical and need to be curbed, but not on the backs of those who get the least for their tax dollar.
A much better idea to trim the budget would be to cut administrative salaries by at least 10 percent, including health care, pensions and pay raises, which all escalate at an alarming rate. Another idea would be to combine the buying power of the schools in Valley Stream for supplies and equipment. Let’s use common sense to reduce the budget and not hurt the children of the district.
To the Editor:
Here we go again with cuts in the Valley Stream Central High School District. The last time they cut the auto program. This time it is bowling, the rifle team and buses. This is disgraceful because we could cover all of these items if we just cut the bloated payroll at 1 Kent Road. Why didn’t someone see this coming when we were paying hundreds of thousand of dollars to the last superintendent? Do we really need all of the directors, assistants, assistants to the assistants that we have crammed into that district complex?
Maybe we do, but if it were my kids I would want answers. Now, some of you may be saying, “My child is not on the bowling or rifle teams and they do not take the bus, so I’m not involved.” Maybe that is what the parents said about the auto program, and maybe next time it will be something that is keeping your child involved.