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BOE Seeks More Voices on Options to Repurpose Schools

Parents plan to submit petition to save East School.

Long Beach High School. Credit: LB Schools
Long Beach High School. Credit: LB Schools

The Long beach School District will hold a facilities utilization forum on proposed options for repurposing the elementary schools at the Long Beach High School, 322 Lagoon Dr. W, Lido Beach, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, when parents are expected to submit a petition that effectively calls for keeping East School open for students. 

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The idea behind the forum, which was postponed last week due to a snowstorm and will replace a scheduled Board of Education work session, is to make it a community-based meeting instead of a school-based meeting, in order to hear more varied voices on the proposed options, board President Patrick Gallagher told the Long Beach Herald. Gallagher said:

“I’m hoping that the larger community comes out and speaks their mind and expresses their opinion.”

The proposed options were presented at three prior board meetings in November, December and earlier this month. While two of the five options call for repurposing East School as an administrative building, two others would restructure the elementary school grades. One option would keep the status quo but place administration at Lindell School.

The district contends that the options are designed to make more efficient use of the district’s school buildings. At the last meeting, Superintendent David Weiss presented the financial data associated with the options, which are estimated to initially save the district about $1.6 million on a projected $123 million budget.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the school district is expected to receive a petition signed by more than 500 residents asking the school board to vote for keeping the status quo in an effort to keep East School open for classes. The petition reads:

“The proposed school changes will result in a savings of less than one percent of the more than $123 million school budget. Our children and community are worth more than one percent!”

The East School parent who circulated the petition, Sabrina Lomonte, told the Herald that while parents are likely to reiterate concerns voiced at prior meetings, they are likely to raise new issues at Tuesday’s forum, including zoning and construction and the new Superblock proposal to build two buildings with more than 500 apartments, which would bring more tax revenue and children to the district.

Lido Shuffle January 27, 2014 at 04:32 PM
After reviewing the property tax records of hundreds of homes located in the City of Long Beach (source: zillow.com) we have determined that on average the net tax savings from the repurposing of East School will be $38 per year. It is time for common sense to prevail. On Tuesday, January 28 there will be a community forum starting at 7:30PM in the Long Beach High School auditorium (322 Lagoon Drive West, Lido Beach). I courage you to speak your mind on this divisive proposal. Pre-registration is required to speak. You may sign-up beginning at 6:30PM in the commons area on the second floor of the HS. You will then be assigned a random number to determine your order of speaking. Parking is limited so car-pooling is encouraged.
Eddie January 27, 2014 at 05:00 PM
$38 is a great place to start!
Jack January 27, 2014 at 06:40 PM
Any school tax savings is good because it forms the basis of future tax savings compounded over the years. Lido Shuffleboard is obviously a card carrying marxist-leninist teachers type union aparatchik who directly makes money off of the school district. When will the education bureaucracy ever say no to school tax hikes? The professional educator cares only about themselves and not the children's parents. If you want more money in the schools then get rid of the illegal aliens and their kids. Throw out the kids who continuously fail and are in school until 22 years old. Get rid of the child molestor /porno promoting teachers. Force into retirement the old fart teachers only padding the pensions and counting time. Eliminate the transportation unit and contract out the bus service to private bidders. These hysterical PTA mothers pushing petitions are dupes of the unions.
Jack January 27, 2014 at 06:42 PM
No need to go to the rigged school meeting. Just vote NO in May to the school budget and any candidate who supports it.
Lido Shuffle January 27, 2014 at 08:49 PM
"Hey you commie teachers stay off my lawn" said Jack Kett (aka Angry Old White Guy)
Lido Shuffle January 28, 2014 at 10:55 AM
The big bad unions? Would that be the almost 1000 hard-working and dedicated workers who have been working for as long as five years without a raise? Or the almost 600 men and women who live in the district who despite their own homes being destroyed by Superstorm Sandy came to work day after day to provide your children with a safe harbor?
Eddie January 28, 2014 at 11:07 AM
I see lots of union-envy here. Didn't think this town was so small -- thought people did better there. If you envy someone making a living wage and organizing to protect his rights, maybe you should consider other employment yourself.
anonymous January 28, 2014 at 11:21 AM
Worked out well for those public sector unions in Detroit, didn't it? Based on our esteemed Governor's most recent comments about only wanting liberals in NY State you public sector people should be petrified. Liberals take...they don't produce so that cushy public sector pension you were counting on aint quite the sure thing you think it is.
moe January 28, 2014 at 11:23 AM
This same argument could be made for LBPD as well...
anonymous January 28, 2014 at 11:54 AM
Just remember....big difference between public and private sector unions although...the bloated Feds love to strong arm companies on behalf of their largest donors. See what Barry's NLRB tried to do to Boeing in South Carolina as evidence of my statement.
Hamburger January 28, 2014 at 03:21 PM
West School would like to re-assure all parents of East School students that we have shortened the official hazing period to only the first two weeks after they arrive
Jack January 28, 2014 at 08:14 PM
Lido Shuffle board you are a self hating White racist. How about thinking about the thousands of hard working taxpayers who live in the school district?I don't care about the teacher's salaries. If you haven't had a raise in 5 years too bad. Go quit and get a job in the private sector. I'm sure all the great scientific and philosophical expertise the teachers have will immediately get them a high paying private sector job.
Eddie January 28, 2014 at 08:34 PM
Nospaz... I don't believe blame rests on the Unions, which do their job of protecting and enriching their members. The blame rests on the shoulders of management, who negotiates the agreements, controls the headcount, overtime and staffing. It rests on the legislators, who set mandate after unfunded mandate. Labor deserves a living wage. We are Americans who are industrious and educated. To demand that your neighbor is paid like a Chinese rice paddy worker is simply falling for the Democrats' envious and divisive mantra into Third World economics.
anonymous January 28, 2014 at 09:42 PM
Eddie..again...the private sector can do as they wish but, as I found out when I was in the IAM, they only protect the lazy, the incompetent and the thieves. Is that the reason that Obama's NLRB fought Boeing so hard...because that is his constituency? People who are motivated and industrious move out of union jobs because they are capable of doing more and don't want to be held to the lowest common denominator and have their brains turn to mush. Anyway...the public sector is completely different. You have money hungry politicians taking donations from service unions and then giving them contracts that exceed what the taxpayers can afford (see the LBPD contract). And, as we see on a regular basis, there are disability and overtime scams left and right with these union shops (see LATEST story about LIRR and MTA) so it gives me another reason to call for their dissolution.
Eddie January 29, 2014 at 06:48 AM
So because the management is incompetent, and the elected officials give in to self interests and some people break the law, workers should be prohibited from organizing? A unions job is to protect it's members. Do you really believe any worker would see pension age if not for unions? But you probably feels pensions are wrong too. Management always has the upper hand. If it chooses not to act in the taxpayers' best interest or is incompetent, why blame the union? Can you blame the PBA for their last contract? Who gave it to them? The people you elected! To call for outlawing organization of workers because some members break the law is simply unworthy of comment.
Eddie January 29, 2014 at 07:46 AM
Spaz, I understand your argument, but I disagree with your remedy -- to outlaw freedom of association. We simply have to hold management and legislators accountable. Folks get the government they deserve, and it's obvious from Mr. Cuomo's comments that this is the government most of New York wants. After all, 62% of NY residents don't pay a dime in taxes.
Lido Shuffle January 29, 2014 at 10:45 AM
I applaud all of the speakers at Tuesday night's Superintendent’s Forum. Each spoke eloquently and with heartfelt passion. Kudos to Long Beach Councilman Anthony Eramo and Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford for their candor and courage in speaking on behalf of keeping East School open. Hopefully the members of the Board of Education will announce their decision shortly and not keep the public waiting for two weeks.
anonymous January 29, 2014 at 11:30 AM
Public sector unions are the epitome of conflict of interest. They donate, support and coerce their membership to support a candidate who, when elected, is expected to shower said union with contracts that municipalities can't afford. I do blame the LBPD union for bargaining and pushing for a contract that the city could not afford. This is exactly what happened in Detroit. The unions knew the city was broke but pushed for more which is why I have zero sympathy for them that their pensions are worthless. I also think the municipal pension system should go away and be replaced with 401k's. How much of our tax money goes to paying pensions? How many people are we paying to be retired? The system is broken and unless it's fixed the wave of municipal bankruptcies will continue and more civil servants will lose their retirements. Eddie is correct...you have the right to organize but to then use strong arm tactics to negotiate is just wrong. And I standby my statement...the unions protect the lowest common denominator. Just go to any construction site in NYC, find the closest bar, go in there at lunch time and you'll see half the crew bellied up to the bar.
Lido Shuffle January 30, 2014 at 01:19 PM
The Long Beach Board of Education has announced that it hold a special meeting of the Board on Wednesday, February 5 at 7:30PM in the Middle School auditorium (239 Lido Blvd., Lido). At that time the Board will continue its discussion on the reorganization of the school district.
LBMom January 30, 2014 at 03:05 PM
Maybe at the next meeting someone will bring up the fact that no one moves to Long Beach/Lido Beach for the stellar school system. People move here and remain here for proximity to the beach, for a lifestyle. Our homes values are not based on the performance of the schools but the performance of the waves. This is a mathematics issue, is it not? The BOE should sharpen their pencils and make the tough decisions. This Forum is not going to be productive because it is not popular to say "Close a school." All of our children are friends and I won't stand up and say "Close my next door neighbor's school." I will say this... The BOE was elected to do a job. It is not a popularity contest. Sharpen you pencils and do the right thing for the most students and our community. Do the right thing for the future of our schools. Let's focus on making them the destination in Long Beach. Then and only then will our home values be a refelction of our stellar school system.
anonymous January 30, 2014 at 03:58 PM
One thing to keep in mind...overall, on Long Island, school enrollment is down. If BOE's don't take action to control costs now then drastic cuts will be required in the future. What also doesn't help is that people are leaving NY overall so state aid is going to decrease in line with a reduced tax base. And let's not forget that Comrade Wilhelm is now running NYC and if he returns it to the "glory" days of Dinkins then that will have a direct impact on LI as more people who work in NYC and live on LI leave because their jobs disappear and they are fed up.
LBMom January 30, 2014 at 05:48 PM
i'm nospaz, it's not supposed to make the schools better, it is supposed to save money.
Hamburger January 30, 2014 at 06:10 PM
I think it might be too late to reverse the planned course of action. West School for one has developed the hazing curriculum for all new students. This will consist of, but not be limited to: Noogies, Indian Rope Burns, and Purple Nurples. During week 2, Upside down head-in-toilet swirlies will also be administered. Eating tar at recess will be done only in extreme cases, and only under the close supervision of the older students.
LBMom January 30, 2014 at 07:03 PM
Disingenuous how? I don't have an agenda. I want the best schools. I am not worried about which builidngs are used as schools and which are used as administration builidings. I don't want a builiding closed but that may be the outcome of this process. I want the BOE to look at all options (not only the ones that repurpose East School) and make fiscally responsible decisions for the future so we can have the best education for the best cost for our students/taxpayers. There were many options presented and some that weren't. I would like to see music, arts and sports for many years to come. I would like our district in the conversation when the best districts in Nassau County are being discussed. Right now, it is not. Additonally, I was led to believe that repurposing the school would save $1million annually, not just once. I had not read all previous comments because I just joined in when the additional meeting was posted. I agree. Whatever is done now is a band aid. The real money is in salaries/pensions/benefits etc. I think what ever is done now will only help very short term. A more difficult task lies ahead. I guess closing NIKE will be the next discussion before we get to the real issues.
Jack January 31, 2014 at 09:41 AM
LB Mom is correct. The property values on this island are based on the beach and the bay, nothing more or less than that. The Long Beach Public school system is similar to the the schools in Florida near the beaches. There also seems to be a trend of more single and older adults moving here negating the need for an extensive public school sytem in the future. Don't listen to the teacher's union socialist propaganda about doom and gloom in the schools.

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