Dear Mr. Murphy,
I have an idea for Dr. Annacone, with respect to his "Eye on Education" column in your 5/5/06 issue. This is also an open letter to our local and state representatives.
In regard to the mysterious and myriad administrators our schools have gone overboard with their budgets. I have an ingenious idea: make them, and the teachers, NY State employees!
The state has the same salary steps, longevity, pension, and health insurance that local schools do. Additional bonuses or steps could be added for Masters, PhDs, etc. This was done in the late 1970s when the state took over the DMV and the courts from the counties. The obvious benefit to taxpayers is that these salaries would now be negotiated every three to four years with the state, with reasonable increases instead of behind closed door secret contracts with the school boards. In addition, there would be no threats of strikes because they would be illegal.
Also, the building and grounds departments could be integrated with the state and or county, as Suffolk County Executive Levy advocates with respect to supplies through BOCES (page 10 of the same issue).
I can already hear the teachers' objections that this would never work. Well, it has been done and proven to work, as outlined above.
How about it, Dr. Annacone?
May 23, 2006