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Syosset Teachers President Responds to Salary Cap

Jeffrey Rozran, President of the Syosset Teachers' Association, speaks out on the governor's proposed superintendent salary cap.

Editor's Note: n is the President of the Syosset Teachers' Association and a teacher in the

Why is the Governor of New York working so hard to point the finger of blame at the salary of Dr. Carole G. Hankin as if her income alone is responsible for the District’s property tax rate?  Why is he treating her with the disrespect one would expect from an Attorney General to an evildoer, instead of the respect due to a valued public servant? Maybe the answer is that he doesn’t want local property owners to ask why he is cutting aid to the Syosset Central School District in spite of the fact that the State of New York leaves 93% of the cost of educating children here to property tax payers. 

If Governor Cuomo is successful in capping superintendent salaries, he will have done nothing significant to reduce taxes. In fact, the savings per household would average less than $20. The fact that Dr. Hankin is highly paid is not a new issue in this community, and it is way past time to put it aside.  Her pay is a direct result of her success and longevity, her more than 21 years of leading one of the most successful school districts in the nation located in the most expensive region in the state in which to live.

The Governor rightly gets a great deal of attention from the media.  We would all benefit if he would use that attention to motivate everyone to work collectively to find solutions to the very serious problems we face.  This time needs statesmen, not bullies.

Ellen Kaplan March 03, 2011 at 05:07 PM
Dear Ro, I am a full-time, responsible and respectful individual. I find that if a child does not need special services, or is high achieving....the "B" students are left to flounder. If you review the other comments, I am not alone in these thoughts. I also find it hard to believe that you accessed the Administration easily.
mat March 03, 2011 at 05:37 PM
Hi Ro, Would you please ask the Dr Hankin to answer the following since you have access? How many times Syosset school kids acheived high awards like Intel? When schools spending less than half the money achive better results, how can you justify your half million salary/benefits and that too for 21 years Why you are hesitant to publish budget on web? How much money is spend on telecommunications devices like blacberry and whose family members use it? Why we need to pay your commute expense? limo??? Why all the Syosset CSD contracts go to a few contractors for the past 7-10 years?
Joe March 03, 2011 at 07:19 PM
Hi Ro, Since you must be in with Lord Hankin can you please tell her that she needs to come clean with the huge drug problem we have at the Syosset high school. Yes we have a huge problem and yet you never here about it. Why?
Steve March 03, 2011 at 08:30 PM
You are 100% correct. The real culprit are the teachers with their exuberant salaries and benefits. The publicity of forgoing their 2.75% was overwhelming yet the step up increases of 2% got much less publicity. It is time to freeze salaries for 10 years, reformulate pensions, and have teachers contribute more towards health benefits just like everyone in private industry.
Sue March 03, 2011 at 10:05 PM
As a parent, as well as an educator, I feel a district is only as good as the people who live there. We all chose Syosset Schools for their reputation. That reputation is built upon the fact that concerned parents, who value education, will do anytihng to help their children succeed. It is a rather affluent community that can afford to hire tutors and send their children to prep classes. The district is what it is because of the people who live in it!
Deirdre Fitzgerald Volpe March 04, 2011 at 01:06 AM
Let her move into her district then, then at least the cost of the gas would be reduced.
Wally March 04, 2011 at 04:22 AM
Wally It doesn't matter who the Super is. The area income allows almost everyone to have a tutor. With this great Dr Hankin, how many students currently have tutors?????? It's time for a BIG CHANGE. Change cirriculum night to a different night then budget vote . This was done so that large amounts of school age parents would vote yes on the budget.Prior to this being done turnout was no where near what it is now so the board decided this was a good way to get passing votes.
Steve March 04, 2011 at 10:21 AM
As others have pointed out, it is not the superintendent or the teachers that are responsible for the excellent statistics from the school system in this area. It is the parents, affluent community, and other factors relating to the background of the students. One would think that the teachers and superintendent are so exceptional and responsible for the grades and awards received by the students. Humbug.
Joe March 04, 2011 at 02:09 PM
Education is no excuse to rip people off. We are all held hostage with this education nonsense. Enough already! We all have a chance to vote "NO" this year on this ridiculous budget. Do the right people and let us take control over the school district instead of them controlling us.
Steve March 04, 2011 at 06:48 PM
The families with kids are always going to vote "YES" to the school budget as they want the best for their children, especially in this district.
Joe March 04, 2011 at 07:41 PM
Throwing money at the district doesn't mean our kids are getting the best. In fact throwing money at any thing doesn't guarantee anything. I say again. Vote "NO".
sue March 04, 2011 at 11:07 PM
I work in the administration building where Dr. Hankin has her office. I also have a chld n the hgh school too. I have seen and heard of many instances where certain situations are swept under the rug to avoid dealng with them or attracting attention. Hankin and Stretman walk around the building like they are royalty. They dont want to deal with the drug problem.
FMW March 06, 2011 at 01:29 AM
Was everyone as outraged when the government bailed out wall street with your tax dollars? How much do teaches make? $50K a year? but at least the hedge fund managers got their $2 million dollar bonuses.
Harry Hudson March 06, 2011 at 02:17 PM
50K?, in what world. There may not be one single Syosset SD employee that is paid that little. Even the NY Post is piling on. Syosset has become the poster child for administration waste. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/she_in_cla_by_herself_jHlMuCVVBBsZoOjLWSsjtK
Ellen Kaplan March 06, 2011 at 04:01 PM
It makes me feel good that all of these issues are FINALLY being printed and spoken of. The amount of money that I paid for tutors, college coaches, SAT prep was exorbitant. This districts make-up of Asian and middle eastern students,(only respect intended), raises our scores.....these students are smart, dedicated, attend summer schooling etc. My point is, that yes, Syosset parents can learn from some of these tactics and devotions to education...but it's certainly not teachers that have these students scoring so high. With my 3 children, I can count the number of truly dedicated and caring teachers we had through the years,(approx. 12-15) Once the month of June comes....nothing goes on in classes that do not have AP status. Movies are shown, Teacher's personal lives are discussed, no homework is given; this also occurs 2-3 days before each school holiday! Teachers are as good as the Expectations that Administrators set. Administrators need to be visible in hallways, classrooms, talk to students and teachers often. being"in the loop", is key to understanding what is going on. The drug issue, which parents must accept as well....is horrible, and has been for a good 6-7 years,(and getting worse). Board members should have children who attend school. Thank you all for writing these comments. I feel for the teachers, it's difficult to work without support and guidance,(especially as a new, young person).
Deirdre Fitzgerald Volpe March 06, 2011 at 05:34 PM
All tax payers should have the right to be board members, not just parents of students. Parents have too much of a vested interest in continuing to spend, spend, spend. It is teachers who should not be board members. It's like Congress voting on their own raises all the time. Absolutely ridiculous! Of course they are always going to approve adminitratice raises - if administrators are not making huge salaries,how can they ever hope to make them.
Mike March 06, 2011 at 08:35 PM
"I sat next to Hankin at a dinner party a few months ago. She relentlessly dropped the names of her important friends and talked abut her opulent lifestyle. She bragged to me, within a few minutes of meeting her, that she would have had a major appointment if Hillary had been elected. I asked her if not living in her district was a problem, she answered no, it wasn't, because Syosset is equidistant between hew homes in Purchase and West Hampton, and besides, "I have a driver." I didn't bother to explain that I had meant to ask whether it was a problem for her DISTRICT. I then told her I had been working hard in my own school district to rein in the fiscal excesses. She responded that "you can't pay teachers enough." Then, reaching for the award of the all-time worst dinner companion, she said, "People like you are ruining this country."" Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/she_in_cla_by_herself_jHlMuCVVBBsZoOjLWSsjtK#ixzz1Fqy4vsFZ This is one of the replies to the Post article on the excesses of our district so you can see the mindset and arrogance of this superintendent, just in case anyone was considering giving her the benefit of the doubt.
Lou March 07, 2011 at 03:04 PM
The School Board needs to be held accountable for approving these contracts. Every time the contracts are up, we hear nothing about it and have absolutely no input. While the Post article states we live in a "ritzy enclave" most families are struggling to keep up. It seems everyone is overpaid across the board. A recently retired principal's pension is 100K alone. Our gym teachers are making 120K and then getting additional monies for coaching. How can we afford that?? Even if Hankin leaves we will be stuck with her ridiculous pension while she is relaxing at her beach house. How many of us have beach houses?? The Board's kids walk around bragging that they get special treatment while we are left to clean up the mess. It is time we get a Board that has everyone's best interest at heart, not just their own. We still have the problem of LIFO to deal with. There is so much dead wood that needs to go, especially at the high school that the thought of letting go better teachers because they are newer, is sickening. Let's finally do what is right for the students!
DL March 07, 2011 at 03:32 PM
hope everyone knows that there will be a Board Meeting at South Woods Middle School tonight at 8:00 pm. The local PTA wants us to go and support Dr. Hankin I feel as a community we should go and demand answers from Dr. Hankin. What makes them think getting a Superintendent who makes $175K a year wouldn't do a better job. The schools are doing so many test preps so we can score well on State Tests to justify the high salaries that the administration is making. There is a big problem with drugs and fighting in the high school maybe we should put our resources into cleaning this situation up. If we don't stand up to the system our taxes will continue to go up. All should come to the meeting tonight to show them we will not put up with it.
Lou March 07, 2011 at 03:44 PM
I agree. If you are there in support of the taxpayers, wear black. Let's send a message that we are not happy with Hankin or the School Board!!
Deirdre Fitzgerald Volpe March 07, 2011 at 05:47 PM
I was a student in the Syosset school district - high school late 70'2 early 80's - and, in my opinion, there was a pretty big drug problem then already. Just lost a classmate to drug problems last year. So, in almost 30 years it has not gotten any better. I am now a taxpayer here, bought my parents home when they fled the tax increases, and my question is when did it become the responsibility of the schools to solve social issues? These type of issues (fighting, drug abuse) are the responsibility of the parents to resolvem not the schools. It is the responsibilty if schools to educate, not regulate. We all know that better education usually produces 'better' people and that there are less and less of these 'social' issues to deal with in a better educated society. I'm tired of my taxes going to pay for things other than the intended purposes if reading, writing and arithmatic. I found when I was in high school here, that most of the people I knew with problems such as these were children who had way too much discretionary income, which they had not done anything to earn, and parents who were not present enough and were not good role models themselves.
Joe March 07, 2011 at 07:52 PM
LK. I like the idea of wearing black and going to the board meeting tonight but how many of us will show? I suggest that we get the word out to as many people as we can to go to the meeting tonight and demand that the board and most of all Lord Hankin step down immediately
Sue March 07, 2011 at 10:30 PM
Steve, I disagree with your statement. Many will vote yes because they are ignorant to the fact that so much more can be done with "less." The fact that some of the same board members have been in their position for YEARS!!! They are all Hankin's buddies.....Are they going to vote "NO" to her raise? I think NOT!!! We need to enact school board TERM LIMITS!!!!
Bob March 08, 2011 at 05:27 PM
Bob The real problem with the Syosset School District is that even new teachers make close to $90,000 or even $100,000. There is no doublt the local taxpayers of Syosset School District are being taken to the cleaners by Hankin and Company. The rating of our District has DECLINED IN RECENT YEARS AND STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS ARE often SWEPT UNDER THE RUG. Hankin and all her cronies should be forced to take pay cuts or go. Her dress, hairstyle and attitude seem to say no one can touch me because I say I am doing a super job. Take a look at the real numbers and test scores and you will see the real truth. BYE BYE HANKIN!!!!
Duglas March 11, 2011 at 02:46 PM
Im a Syosset High School Graduate, had Mr. Rozran as my english teacher (he was very good), have graduated from a Ivy League College. I have an excellent professional, private-sector job,...AND I DIDN'T EVEN MAKE CLOSE TO WHAT HANKIN MADE LAST YEAR. My retirement fund lost 60% of its value, I've had to cut back staff at my company, and work 200% harder just to stay ahead. Explain to me why public employees should not feel the same pressures that us in the real private sector are still feeling and worried about.....anyone? Bueller?
Sue March 14, 2011 at 05:46 PM
Deidre, I totally agree with your perspective. Many parents leave everything up to the schools. Schools. Schools are now repsonsible for what the students eat, as well as social and emotional issues. When are parents going to step up to the plate and assume some repsonsibilities? Many parents in the Syosset district do not monitor what their children are doing. They are left in the hands of housekeepers and sometimes even alone, while the parents are off indulging in other activites. The drug problem at the high school is not something new. But do we seriously believe that it is up to the school district to take care of everything. Parents should be aware of what their children are doing!
Alan March 24, 2011 at 10:11 PM
Mr. Rozran's view are like the pot calling the kettle black. Thay should be viewed as such. The whole Syosset administration is way to large for the size of the School District to absorb. Dr. Hankin is way overpayed and the School Board is incompetent. One can imagine negotiations of her contract. Hankin: I'm worth 400K salary because I am so good. Board: We agree Hankin: and if you don't pay me more in Fringe benefits/retirement annuity and Sick days, I will leave my 400K job and find a higher paid jobe elsewhere because I'm so good and anybody would pay me this. Board: We agree Hankin: You should agree because I took the time to come to this meeting when I could have been getting my nails done. Board: We get it and you got it. Corruption at its finest. Never mind, nobody would pay her this elsewhere. Never mind Syosset School District allocates 29K per student of taxpayer money to be so good. How good? Blue Ribbon High School twenty years ago. Hankin would be worth 400K if our students could do as well or better at a lot less than 29K per student. She is actually below par as compared to the other school districts and her salary and the cost of administration should be reflecting the truth not what a conflicted Mr. Rozran want you to believe.
VictorJ April 08, 2011 at 12:29 AM
I'm a graduate of Syosset HS and in 1998 I had Mr. Rozran for English. Although Mr. Rozran knew his subject and taught it very well- I learned early on that Mr. Rozran was one of the most liberal of the teachers I ever had - even excusing President Clinton for his boorish behavior in the White House. Mr. Rozran was famous for answering a question with a question, usually though his question was a veiled attempt to shift the discussion away from what was being asked to what he wanted to answer. This, I believed he learned from studying the liberal politicians , but this technique has been readily exposed as a transparant manuever to shift attention away from the debate at hand. Mr. Rozran askes why the NY Governor isn't being asked why he is cutting the state Education budget? Mr Rozran, Cuomo has already answered that. He is trying to balance the state budget without having to raise taxes anymore. He wants the local taxpayer to decide how much they want to pay for Education without the state subsidies. Kabish? I am seeing through your facade of "public service" and what you are really really behind- Social justice and greed, not the students and certainly not the community. I wonder does Mr. Rozran really believe that Carole Hankin's pay is justice to the "public servant" or just another way for Mr. Rozran and his cronies to claw their way to the top of the payscale on taxpayers backs. By the way, thanks for the A grade.
Sue April 08, 2011 at 12:43 AM
Victor, You make a very valid point, but I must correct you on one thing. You EARNED that grade of an A. Mr. Rozran did not GIVE it to you. You are a very articulate young man, who obviously can see through the rose colored glasses many of these residents cannot.... Have you ever considered running for the school board? It would be nice to have someone represent us who has the interest of the taxpayers....not the glutenous pigs who call themselves district administrators.... The cycle must be broken and now is the time.
Ed Lewis May 17, 2011 at 03:01 PM
The fact that you say "The fact that Dr. Hankin is highly paid is not a new issue in this community, and it is way past time to put it aside, " proves that you are out of touch with reality and what is going on in America. Don't sweep this under the rug, it is not time to put it aside, it is time to deal with with it! I am living in austerity as are many people in this community, you are out of touch. Where does your sensitivity and loyalties lie?

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