Commack Superintendent Announces Wage Freeze
The Superintendent of the Commack School District has announced that he will take a wage freeze next year. “Our mission as a community is to educate our children,” said Superintendent Dr. Donald A. James. “We are facing a 4.7 million dollar funding gap for the 2012-2013 school year. As the leader of this District, I fully understand that many among us are dealing with great financial strain. We must work together to do what is best for our children and our community.”
Following the Superintendent’s lead, all central office administrators have also agreed to a salary freeze. District administrators, teachers, and other district employees are considering similar requests from the Board, but have not yet formally responded.
A district-wide, one-year wage freeze could save close to $4 million, according to figures provided at the budget presentation on March 8. Many parents who attended the meeting spoke out in favor of saving teachers’ jobs to keep class size from increasing. Mrs. MaryJo Masciello, President of the Commack Board of Education, stated, “Every concession made by our bargaining units will help decrease the budget gap and enable us to maintain our academic and co-curricular programs. With State funding for our schools at an all-time low, an inequitable distribution of State aid to schools on Long Island, and the implementation of the tax levy cap, the entire educational system here is at risk.”
The next Budget Meeting will take place on March 29, at 8:00 p.m. at Commack High School, with Special Community Input Meetings scheduled for March 26 at Burr at 7 p.m., and April 16 at Sawmill at 1p.m.
“We have been listening to many stakeholders during Board of Education meetings, budget workshops, and neighborhood meetings with residents and community-based organizations. We have received emails and phone calls as well as engaged in numerous impromptu conversations. There is a clear recognition that community input is critical as we seek to prepare a budget that is fiscally conservative and addresses the needs of our students as well as the Commack community,” remarked Dr. James. “We’re hearing from many constituents in many different settings, and that helps us to zero in on the community’s feelings about the proposed budget. With this input, the Board will consider how to address the concerns of the many different constituencies in our community.” It is important to note that the budget is not final until the Board adopts a spending plan on April 19.
More information is available on the Commack School District Website.