Statement From the Syosset Board of Education

The board has released a statement in regards to the salary of Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carole Hankin.

Dr. Hankin is in her 21st year as Superintendent of the Syosset Central School District. Under her leadership, our District has been nationally recognized for its innovative academic programming, including our K-12 World Language and Nanotechnology curriculum and our exemplary science programming that features the District's Geological and Ecological Research Facility, the only one of its kind on Long Island.

Syosset's arts programming wins top honors. Our students' academic achievements are extraordinary, including Siemens Competition, Intel and National Merit finalists and semi-finalists; and National AP scholars; to name just a few. Our District has earned a reputation as one of the best - not only on Long Island and in the state but across the country. The outstanding programs and services that our students receive and our parents expect are the envy of school districts across the region. 

As a direct result of Dr. Hankin's management skills and oversight of the fiscal policies and practices of our District, Syosset has earned an Aa1 Bond credit rating from Moody's, which saves the District hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. Additionally, Syosset's strong financial position - again, attributable to Dr. Hankin's leadership - has resulted in the District receiving a TAN interest rate of less thatn .3 percent - the lowest in over two decades. 

Dr. Hankin has been the driving force behind minimizing our District's administrative costs. Her achievement in this area resulted in the State of New York awarding the District $90,201 in Administrative Efficiency Aid for 2010-2011, in recognition of Syosset's eficient and prudent use of administrative resources. 

Regarding recent media articles, we are not going to legitimize reporting that includes so many inaccuracy's and so much misleading information. Dr. Hankin's compensation package is public record, and it is unfortunate that the media and statements from some elected officials continue to misrepresent the facts and ignore the invaluable contributions Dr. Hankin has made to our District and our community. 

We are proud to represent the Syosset School District and we are most proud and grateful that we have an educational leader and CEO of Dr. Hankin's caliber to lead us, particulary during these tumultuous economic times. While other District's struggle with the prospect of laying off tens or even hundreds of teachers, it is Dr. Hankin's leadership in negotiating a salary freeze with all of our bargaining units that has saved this District from the fate that is awaiting so many district's across the state. 

Dr. Hankin's vision, hard work and dedication have made Syosset a model district, academically and in terms of our financial prudence. She has been a tireless advocate for the students and families of Syosset. The programs that she has pioneered in our District have made Syosset what it is today - the very best. 

The Board of Education fully support Dr. Hankin. We believe her compensation is commensurate with her value to our District, and is consistent with compensation for superintendents of the top-performing districts on Long Island.

JE March 09, 2011 at 03:47 PM
At some point the debate is going to have to shift from Dr. Hankin's resume of accomplishments to what is best for the community of Syosset. Here is an excellent NYTimes article about an affluent suburb (Bronxville, NY) that is very much like Syosset. Anyone who is concerned about the future of our community should read it. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/09/business/09bronxville.html Teachers' salaries and benefits are becoming a larger and larger percentage of the school budget every year. That cannot be sustained. Syosset residents are offered only two solutions to this -- either raise property taxes or lose student programs. Salaries and benefits NEED to be addressed.
Steve March 09, 2011 at 05:39 PM
Joe, You can't do that for the reasons below: We will give very minimal publicity on schoool budget voting We will sent several notes to your home through your kids to come and vote. We will warn you if the budget is not passed, your child's future is in jeopardy We will send message to all retirees, contracters etc to ensure their participation in voting You couldn't do anything for over 20years to replace me.. I am going to enjoy 500K for at least next three years Bye
Support NY Public Schools March 09, 2011 at 06:17 PM
Sorry - nope not a teacher, not on the board, just a parent. Who has 2 kids about to get into the district for the first time, moving from CA. Believe me - look at the spending $'s per pupil in CA compared to NY - it is CRAZY. On avg, CA only spends $9,000 per kid, and the good distrcits, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Piedmont - spend no more than $13,000. The state avg in NY is much higher for all schools - around $16 - $17 and in Syosset - the #'s online at greatschools.com show around $22 - $23. So how do the make the difference in CA - they ask all of the parents to fund raise - and if you don't well the kids go without. BTW - there are no buses - only for 'field trips". So no, we don't know anyone there, are kids don't even go there yet, and are not related to anyone who goes there - but yes - really before you stop everything - look around and see the #'s from other states. NY as a whole needs to continue to support public education, and the families, board, administration and teachers continue to work together to make it happen.
Support NY Public Schools March 09, 2011 at 06:19 PM
Oh and yes, we do own a house there - rent it right now, and do pay taxes there
Joe March 09, 2011 at 07:17 PM
I hate to break the news to you but most of the Syosset residence that I have been speaking to you are fed up and ready to vote no. Not sure if you been watching the news the last few years but we are in a very difficult financial times and some of us are finding it harder and harder to pay the ridiculous taxes. If I were you I would stay in California. At least the weather is nice..
Joe March 09, 2011 at 07:20 PM
Steve, Get a grip.
Mike March 09, 2011 at 07:24 PM
Support--What you say makes a lot of sense. But when much of that $/kid is being spent on an out of whack administration salary system and all of the "perks" and misdirections of the funds that should be going directly to the children, that's where the plan goes awry. It's simple math that if the pay scale is changed to bring the administrators compensations back to reality along with a fair scale for the teachers salaries, then the $ that are trimmed can be used to pay for the things that we are routinely held hostage to as threats if the budget is not passed, without having to raise our taxes inordinately every single year. So it sounds like you are supportiing the NY system as compared to CA based on the figures that you have researched online, which is admirable. But you just might not have enough experience with the individuals involved in this particular situation as many of us have for decades to make a fully educated determination on this issue.
Harry Hudson March 09, 2011 at 10:22 PM
Notice your tax dollars hard at work. This statement was undoubtedly prepared by the PR firm contracted by the Board of Ed. Why do we pay for a PR firm? After a year's worth of "effort," why is it the eminently capable Dr. Hankin still unable to figure out how to make the budget available online? If you can, visit the Oyster Bay District's website and look how they have the proposed budget, the past two year's budgets and current year expenditures all clearly available on line. We are not going to get accurate information from this Board of Ed without forcing a change. Money is spent on the increasing complicated educational theories popular in the vaulted circles of the educational elite. We now pay for curriculum administrators at all levels and elaborate national educational conferences. Unfortunately the end result is more highly compensated administrators and teachers producing students with weaker educational fundamentals. Is it not the goal of public education to provide all students with a solid educational foundation on which to build upon? It is certainly true that Syosset is known locally for higher than average individual student achievement. However, on a more important note, it is also one of several Long Island school districts that is much more well know among college admissions officers for grade inflation than the academic achievements of those very students.
Sue March 10, 2011 at 01:04 AM
Where were all these opponents the other night at the board meeting that unanimously supported Dr. Hankin? If the residents are fed up, more of them must come out and be VOCAL about their dissatisfaction!!!! My question is not only Dr. Hankin salary, but can you explain to me why HBT MIddle School has 5 administrators. I am not sure that the general public is aware of this, but there is a principal, two assistant prinicpals and 2 administrative assistants (one in charge of the math and science departments and the other in charge of social studies and English). Can you tell me why the 2 assistant principal cannot handle that job? This is a ridiculous waste of taxpayers' dollars. The school has approximately 800 students, so why are 5 administrators necessary? We need to cut the fat in this district IMMEDIATELY!
Snierder March 10, 2011 at 02:05 PM
Sue, Syosset CSD spends over 20,000 in telephone, blackberry, gps and other communication equipements. An administartor has 3 blackberries why? Inspite of several requests, board does not want to put their budget on line. Supt excuse - we do not have the resource to do so. We spend over 200,ooo for PR firms to keep the trash under the rug. Do you know how much we have spend on Newsday to publish a rosy picture of Hankinn in the last weeks board meeting? Newsday is great but not when it comes to issues that affect their cronies Do you know how many close relatives of board members work in this CSD? This piece of information will be an eye opener Syosset voters .. wake up
An tUasal Airgead March 10, 2011 at 03:48 PM
AVAILABILITY OF PROPOSED BUDGETS Each board of education is required to have the proposed budget for Common, Union Free, Central and Small City schools available for public comment. The budget must be complete and available upon request to residents within the district seven days before the budget hearing. The board of education, as part of the notice of the annual meeting referred to in part B. of this section, must give notice that district residents may obtain a copy of the budget, and provide time and place where budgets will be available. The budget shall be completed at least fourteen days before the annual or special meeting and copies thereof shall be prepared and made available, upon request, to residents within the district during the period fourteen days immediately preceding such meeting and at such meeting. The board shall also, as a part of the notice required, give notice that a copy of such statement may be obtained by any resident at each schoolhouse, public and free association library within the district, and made available on the district's website, if any. (Education Law, §§ 1608, 1716, 2003, 2004).(Library and website requirement effective 2009). http://www.p12.nysed.gov/mgtserv/budgeting/handbook/legalaspects.html
Joe March 10, 2011 at 03:54 PM
Maybe we should protest in the streets? It worked in Egypt.
George March 10, 2011 at 06:46 PM
Guys Hankin is going to stay for another 10years whether you protest or not. Spending 2.3 million in salary for administrative staff is something Syosset can swallow without any complaints..good luck
Joe March 10, 2011 at 07:17 PM
George, What do you mean without complaints? What do you think we are doing right now? The people of Syosset can no longer afford to pay these taxes. The party is over!
An tUasal Airgead March 11, 2011 at 12:03 AM
Syosset Admin salaries as per the New York State Education Department http://www.p12.nysed.gov/mgtserv/admincomp/ http://www.p12.nysed.gov/mgtserv/admincomp/docs/2010-11admincomp.xls Superintendent of Schools 386,868 Coordinator 140,000 Asst. Principal 166,912 Asst. Principal 165,335 Administrative Asst 137,320 Coordinator 135,358 Asst. Principal 163,724 Asst. Superintendent 206,927 Administrative Asst 145,305 Coordinator 138,614 Principal 170,893 Director 161,932 Coordinator 173,298 Principal 152,359 Principal 183,379 Coordinator 174,842 Director 170,000 Coordinator 146,236 Principal 160,020 Asst. Principal 119,150 Coordinator 164,543 Coordinator 154,493 Administrative Asst 145,305 Coordinator 127,090 Coordinator 148,976 Director 153,014 Principal 201,030 Principal 153,168 Principal 153,168 Deputy Superintendent 286,457 Principal 169,082 Administrative Asst 135,068 Principal 169,082 Administrative Asst 137,320 Coordinator 164,543 Coordinator 133,026 Asst. Principal 146,742 Coordinator 154,184 Principal 172,100 Asst. Principal 154,603 Total $6,621,466 annual salaries These positions also account for $1,431,084 in annual benefits
sue March 20, 2011 at 05:58 PM
Joe March 21, 2011 at 01:08 PM
Brent March 24, 2011 at 05:51 PM
Thats a lot of money to pay for a superintendent and such a large staff for what appears to be a rather average size school district. $29000 per pupil appears to be a gouge on local taxpayers. I syosset school district that Good? I didn't see it on the top 150 school list in America in the recent past. I know that Syosset High School won a Blue Ribbon - but wsnt that back in 1992 around twenty years ago?
Joe March 24, 2011 at 06:15 PM
Yes that is a ton of money that we are paying regardless of Blue, Pink, Yellow, Green or White ribbons. Brent, tell your friends, neighbors to go out and vote this year. Enough is enough!!!!!!!!!
Alan March 24, 2011 at 10:47 PM
C'mon. You write that we should not believe our elected officials. What the heck are you but an elected School Board? Lets see who is telling the truth. You state that Syosset High School reputation is highly rergarded across the country? Well this independant study doesn't even rank Syosset with high regard in Nassau County - and you claim the Country??? So are we taxpayers to believe the elected School Board who wrote this statement? I think not. http://education.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/directories/high-schools/index_html/state_id+NY/page_number+1/page_size+10/sort+alpha/name+/award+1+2+3+4/school_name+/county+Nassau%20County/detail+less
Stephen March 25, 2011 at 05:01 AM
What credit grabbing manure. The Board of Ed is like an Oscar - a select club patting themslves on the back. The students do the work and they take the credit. Here is the truth. My child once went to Albany to compete in National History Day State finals. The School provided no help, no nothing., Nada. When we returned, they refused to allow it as an excused absence and would not allow a make up test that was missed the day of the competition. Any homework due was marked late and one teacher in particular scolded my kid for missing an "important lesson". They all knew where the kid was in advance. When the Superindendent later found out how high my teenager placed (an alternate to Nationals in Washington DC) they contacted me three weeks later to ask for an interview to be published in the school paper. They were astonished that we refused. When people know the truth about the school they never lok back. Of all the Intel/Siemens competitors, how many do you actually think were because of the school. Most of thise students weren't helped by their teachers because their teachers were not at the level as the high achieving students. There was a recent article in Newsday about a Korean born Syosset HS boy who who move from CA to Syosset and won an essay writing contest. Notice he never mentioned the Syosset School District? Why should he - they did nothing for him.
sue April 01, 2011 at 07:24 PM
Just read that the Syosset school board didnt renew Hankin's contract. Also, 2 board members have resigned. This is the best news i have heard all week. What comes around goes around, as they say. Im so glad my son only has 2 more years in this school district.
Joe April 01, 2011 at 08:20 PM
Sue, I know this is a very bad April fools joke to pull on the Syosset people.
sue April 01, 2011 at 08:50 PM
Joe, I feel so stupid that i fell for this joke.It was too good to be true.
Joe April 02, 2011 at 03:07 AM
The day that Lord Carole Hankin resigns or is fired will be a great day for all Syosset residence.
valerie April 15, 2011 at 05:51 PM
I worked for syosset for 12 years.Talk about wasting money.Andy the head custodian is playing on his computor half the day,the other half hes on the phone with wife and friends.Tommy J does nothing .I asked him for help one day and he screamed at me hes not here to work.This is no secret at southwoods everyone knows.Both make over 70000. I was fired for too many sick days, Thats true i was sick alot but thats what stress can do.When i worked I did everything.They fired the 47ooo worker who LOVED the kids and helped them . valerie
valerie April 15, 2011 at 05:56 PM
hey sue its val is it true they got rid of you after they figured out who you were
valerie April 15, 2011 at 06:23 PM
Tired of reading teachers are at board meetings to show support. If they dont show syosset has its ways of getting even.They can not speak their true feelings for fear of retaliation
Frieda April 16, 2011 at 03:02 AM
Not sure I remember you valerie, but I worked at the HS, Southwoods, HBT, Berry Hill and Village for 14 years. Except for the two years at Village Elementary, these were the worst years as an educator I ever had. Nobody like Hankin or Streitmann- they talked about them all the time. They talked about their problems so much than nobody ever did any work. They would call in temps and aides, just so they could all go to" all afternoon lunch meetings" that yhe district would pay for to discuss petty little things that did not need these meetings. It got so disgustinng watching these 125 lb woman order triple size servings, pick at it with a fork and then have it wrapped in shopping size bags to take home. The waste of money was never-ending.
Martin April 29, 2011 at 02:50 PM
This statement by the Board is outrageous. The misleading and false information is being propogated by Hankin and the Board of Education. The had 17M left over from last years budget, moved the money to the reserves and did not inform the community. Instead they told us at the last Board meeting that if we vote NO our taxes would have to go up. They never mentioned that unspent 17M could be used to offset any costs. Maybe this Board thinks that it is okay to file the proper paperwork with the state and then leave it up to the community to find this information out. But they had opportunity to truthfully spell things out at the last Board meeting, withheld this information and mislead the syosset community. This high almighty attitude does NOT serve us anymore and is cause for an immediate "NO" vote on this budget. Replacement of the entire Board and Carole Hankin is in order because they are no longer serving the needs of the commuity.


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