64.9 F
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Home Schools Rye School Board Up for Their Own Tenure - Forum Wednesday

Rye School Board Up for Their Own Tenure – Forum Wednesday

In the wake of a very contentious Rye Board of Education meeting last week, The Rye, Rye Brook & Port Chester League of Women Voters is holding a candidate forum for Rye City school board candidates this Wednesday May 6th, at 7:30 pm at the Rye Middle School Multipurpose Room (3 Parsons Street).

The candidates will no doubt discuss the upcoming school board election and budget vote (on Tuesday, May 19th), the Rye Teachers Association contract (or lack of one) and might continue the hot potato topic of a Rye teacher that was recently denied tenure.

The current board includes Joshua Nathan, President ; Laura Slack, Vice President; Edward Fox; Robert Zahm; George Cady (retiring); Kendall Eagan and Young Kim.

What do you think of the school board candidates? Leave a comment below.

The candidates are:

Gwen Hughes

Susan Hendler

Joshua C. Nathan

Christopher E. Repetto

Laura M. Slack

Ray Schmitt

Steven Tuch [cannot attend]


  1. Apologies – this is a double post. You can find the original on the thread about swine flu.

    In the swine flu thread, there is a very valid post. The question “Why hasn’t Shine been fired?” was raised. Why indeed?

    What needs to be also asked is why has Shine received nearly 70% in raises over the past 8 years? Why did he receive a nearly 14% raise last year, and why – in the midst of firings and salary freezes – did this Board allow him to take a bonus for 100 sick days that he did not take over the last four years? Yes – he will be receiving over 20,000 on top of his salary (already double the median family income in Rye)for 22 vacation days.

    That meeting was a slugfest with zero leadership from the Board or the Superintendent. At issue was an email written by Shine yet he sat there and in the most ungentlemanly fashion allowed someone else to take the hit. Not once did he stand up to clarify the contents of the email.

    Josh Nathan is no stranger to passive-aggressive behavior either. His repeated use of the word “stunning” was as inflammatory as Jamie Zung’s presentation. Let’s own up to some responsibility, Nathan.

    None of this contentiousness would exist if the teachers had a contract or if the Board stood up to Shine and his history of spending that gives a drunken sailor a bad name.

    Even more concerning is the chat amongst the board members on how irreplaceable Shine is.

    Watch out: Keep the board in place and Shine will hand pick his successor. Rye won’t get some young, eager Superintendent in touch with what’s going on with education, technology, and social media. We’ll be stuck with an overpaid bureaucrat who thinks admissions to name-brand colleges that network kids into future non-existant Wall Street jobs is the high mark of a education system.

    Laura Slack and Josh Nathan could be Mother Teresa and St. Francis combined but nothing will progress until there is a new board. Let’s start over and look to the future.

  2. I agree with you mulberry.

    The School Board likes Shine because he will cover their mistakes and take the hits. That is why they are so willing to throw so much money at this guy.

    The same is true for the crazy contract and money Otis gave to Shew.

    This is different though. Did Laura Slack say those things or not? Did Shine lie in his E-mail to Rooney or not?

    Someone needs to take the fall for this and it should not be Jaime Saracino.

  3. How much do tenured teachers cost the district? Why are kindergarten teachers more valuable than high school teachers? Why should a 27 year old be given job security for the rest of her life? Why should kindergarten parents hold the rest of the district hostage? The high school should be the centerpiece of the district — the reality is that a good or bad kindergarten teacher really doesn’t change one’s life — but a good high school teacher can.

  4. I have been told that the Rye High School Principal, Dr. Rooney, has sent a letter to all of the teachers stating that HE recommended to the School Board that the tenure decisions for certain HS teachers be delayed and that the School Board followed his wishes in all tenure decisions. He also went on to praise Laura Slack for her integrity and for her work as a tireless advocate of kids and her social activism.

    I would like to see a number of people apologize to Laura Slack for comments directed at her in the recent weeks. No person is more deserving of our gratitude and support than Laura.

  5. Let’s see the Rooney letter to the teachers and the original letter or e-mail sent to the school board by Rooney.

    Why did Shine attribute the statements to Slack?

  6. The kindergarten teacher in question sounds like a good teacher. But the venom displayed by a few of her kindergarten parents, especially by Susan Hendler, who is now trying to get on the Board, was unnecessary and insulting. The hundreds of older students in Rye, not to mention the taxpayers, deserve the Board’s time and attention. Enough angst about kindergarten.

  7. Can someone give a brief (and unbiased) snapshot of what this is in reference to? This is the first I am hearing about this issue.

  8. Having watched the last Board Meeting on tv, here is a quick summary of the two issues referred to above.

    A kindergarten teacher might not get tenure, leading to outrage among the kindergarteners’ parents and apparently permanent scarring to the soon-to-be first graders. (Kindergarteners stress a lot over tenure decisions.) The parents don’t like that the Board isn’t obeying them, and one parent is particularly upset she didn’t receive a thank you note for her last appearance. Now she is running for the Board, apparently on the etiquette ticket.

    The second issue refers to a brief email sent by the RHS principal to the RHS math chair, marked Confidential, which the math teacher promptly sent to his union rep. In the email the principal says that the superintendent said a board member said that a math teacher or two might not deserve tenure yet. The board member denied she ever said anything of the sort, and the teacher union guy said that he didn’t trust any of them. So it looks like there is no contract coming anytime soon. Stay tuned!

  9. Last week’s school board meeting was certainly a spectacle to behold and far more entertaining than I anticipated a school board meeting could be!
    I don’t understand the tenure issue and don’t understand the anger around, but it was incredibly clear that Susan Hendler was a self-serving individual who has a whole personal agenda. I didn’t understand why she was so hung up on a kindergarten teacher that her son had this year. Interestingly enough, another of her sons had the same teacher but she didn’t mention that, nor did she bring in silly drawings or sentences from his kindergarten year. I find it’s a fascinating omission from a person who was so keen to tell us too much about her life. There’s got to be a story here I think.
    Laura Slack is an incredibly devoted board member and public advocate – shame on those who attacked her through incorrect information and hearsay. I am amazed this courageous woman would even want to represent us in the future, and thank her so much for caring.
    And how ignorant was Susan Hendler about Bob Zahn taking notes, yet she saw it as ‘playing on his computer’ … aaah, God bless the board if that woman gets on it as there will never be a proper debate or rational decision again!
    I look forward to viewing the next board meeting!

  10. WELL, the bell has rung,class is over….Now you can all go home and pout! As all of us(in the know) knew from the get go L.Slack is so NOT GUILTY!
    Should Shine be fired,
    So now we need to show proof because Dr.Rooney is now a lier!
    It ends hear. You have your proof. If you want to know why Dr.Shine did what he did GO ASK HIM!
    Rooney comes clean,
    You are wasting your time expecting an apology from people who think they are above that!

    How special of Mrs.Hendler to send her house keeper around to put the signs back up that none of us want on our lawns.

    You people that have been attacking L.Slack should crawl back under that rock for which you came. If you really truly knew L.Slack you would never so much as utter such thoughts.

  11. First, tenure is not a guarantee of employment, but rather a right to due process granted after completion of the probationary period and granted upon the recommendation of the school principal and district superintendent.

    Second, the community should be educating themselves about the role of the local school board and their scope of authority. The local school board is an agent of state government and is responsible for carrying out the mandate entrusted to it by the state legislature and has no other authority; spelled out clearly in the New York Education Law.

    How many of Rye’s board members have availed themselves of the training provided by state to better understand their role, responsibility and scope of authority.

    In my opinion, it is beyond the scope of their authority to deny tenure recommendations of the individuals hired and paid to do so.

    Also, K-5 education IS important. It also annoys me that the community keeps questioning if the members of the board have observed the classes of the teachers in question. Very clearly, members of the board are not allowed to do so and their function is to accept the recommendations of their paid administrators.

    I am certain that most school board members run and serve with the best of intentions to improve their local school district. I am not convinced, however, that they understand their role and the limits of the scope of their authority.

    I am also interested to know if the open meetings act is being violated in the way Rye’s local school boards, past, present, and future function.

  12. Also, I think Mrs. Hendler’s comments about Bob Zahm were a reflection of some board members body language and behavior during the public portion of the meeting. I think the public felt frustrated by the perceived lack of interest and respect by the elected board members for their concerns. I also think the teachers have felt similar frustration with the current board.

  13. Why allow the discussion to be deflected by tenure issues (state law – organize and change it) and irritating personality types?

    Yeah, permanent tenure is stupid. So organize and fight it. But try and get some questions answered first:

    Why was tenure denied this particular teacher when it is a rubber stamp for nearly every other case – no matter how inept the teacher or principal?

    Why did Shine not take a stand and clear up the matter once and for all? If anyone slandered Laura Slack it was Ed Shine through his silence.

    Was Dr. Rooney coerced into writing that letter? As for Laura Slack’s integrity, how many citizens do the right thing every single day and don’t get public praise?

    The anger displayed by the public is an indication of a poisonous atmosphere created by Ed Shine. It’s incredible that he remains teflon even on this blog! I’ll repeat: Shine is the one who slandered Laura Slack through his silence.

    And yes it is no secret that – Board members children, as well as the children of PTO heads, get special treatment.

    This is the most dysfunctional system ever to come down the pike. The dysfunction will persist unless the cycle is broken. You break it by eliminating the old board members one at a time. No hard feelings – not slander – just “buh bye” until we can get a board with enough cojones to send Shine off into retirement.

    Excellent point about the body language. Misinterpreted in this instance perhaps, but the public has been subjected to years of three minutes and the perfunctory “Thank you very much”. Parents who aren’t well connected have no say in their children’s education. No trust.

  14. This dysfunctional board/administration is a train wreck! The Board has been unreceptive and rude to community members for quite some time. Mulberry and Ignorance Annoys me are correct about the body language and there was also overt hostile language when Bob Zahm called the room a “Union Shop.” It is not surprising that the teachers and parents are completely frustrated and angry.
    About the email that was allegedly sent by Shine to Rooney. How could Shine sit there and no one thought to ask him to affirm or deny whether the email was sent. Laura Slack should have turned right to Shine to ask why he supposedly wrote an email referring to her. I don’t understand how he can avoid answering that basic question. Having been in this district for almost two decades, it is well known that PTO heads and Board Members have extraordinary access to the Superintendent and Principals. Do most abuse this access–hopefully not. Have some people advanced their own agendas–probably yes. Despite the letters sent by Rooney & Tuttle to “absolve the Board,” there will always remain a doubt about undue influence by a Board member. Ed Shine’s silence can be taken as verification of the alleged email’s contents. One cannot help but wonder whether Rooney & Tuttle felt they had to retract their original statements in order to protect themselves. The whole matter reeks of abuse of power, coercion and conflict of interest. Isn’t that a great thing for the reputation of Rye! Won’t that help the real estate values??

  15. Another point to the person who suggests someone just ask Shine what was in that email.

    One of the many problems here is the lack of leadership and integrity on behalf of the Board and particularly of the superintendent.

    Shine gets paid more than Arne Duncan did when he was in charge of Chicago’s Schools – for that much money, he can’t think on his feet?

    A lot of the anger presented at the last two Board meetings could have been deflected if (1.) Shine showed integrity and a concern for the truth (2.) Josh Nathan and Laura Slack had not responded like spinster school marms. (“I am shocked! Shocked at this behavior!”)

    A moment of prophecy:
    We will all be forced to enter the Shine Spin Zone when he writes his back-pedaling letter to the local paper.

  16. You are so right, mulberry. The next obvious step will be a letter from Shine in an obvious attempt to further the cover-up. The doubt will always remain, particularly because Laura Slack was also implicated as being involved indirectly with the tenure denial of Ms. Saracino. The plot thickens. Fast forward to 2010–new members of school board facilitate a compromise between the teachers and administration so that there is shared sacrifice. This actually happened in neighboring districts-Mamaroneck, Tuckahoe and others. Can this be our future? Only if there is change in the current cast of character. Stay tuned!

  17. Speakout – I’m with you. Let’s visualize a new board and a decent contract for the teachers.

    I just returned from the board meeting where Shine pulled a weasel move. No big surprise there. He said he would address the email from two weeks ago and went on to read Dr. Rooney’s apology.

    We know an email was sent from Shine to Dr. Rooney, but we still do not know if Laura Slack’s name was mentioned.

    The man needs to answer a simple question but seems incapable of doing so.

  18. In response to Mulberry’s comment, I am not trying to deflect the discussion at all. In fact, when Bob Zahm said at the end of the board meeting that the board will not be a rubber stamp for tenure recommendations, I couldn’t have disagreed more. That is EXACTLY their function.

    The taxpayers of Rye should be concerned that board members were so careless. Not acting in accordance with the law leaves the issue to the courts. What taxpayer wants to be responsible for the cost potential litigation resulting from an inept school board?

    What was Dr. Shine’s option? To stand up and publicly declare that board members have open access and influence in the administration of the district? He is walking a fine line as a superintendent. The burden of responsibility is upon the board members who would choose to abuse their power to influence the administration, whatever their claims of good intentions.

    Also, too much of the functioning of the board is not public. Reading the public minutes, it would be IMPOSSIBLE for the board to be conducting so much business without a quorum and without public notes of their non-public meetings. Are there phone calls between four or more members? E-mails? To my knowledge, this violates the Open Meetings Act. The days of school boards functioning behind closed doors are over.

    We are a progressive community and should act like one.

  19. The question was posed, “When was the last time one of the board members observed a class or thanked a teacher?” Laura Slack answered “today” to both.

    It is illegal in New York for a board member to observe classes; that is the role of the principal and administration. Her public admission of this abuse of power should have been grounds for calling for her resignation, regardless of the other allegations of undue influence and abuse of power.

  20. Regardless if Shine read a letter from Rooney tonight or not. There is still an email from Shine that states, “Here are the concerns from Laura Slack… teacher x CAN’T TEACH and teacher y’s students don’t produce.”
    So I ask you…. bottom line…
    Who is lieing? Laura Slack or Ed Shine? We know Laura’s answer, that was evident last Tuesday…”I did not say those words.” So, she called Ed Shine a lier! Then I ask you, what does Ed Shine have to gain from lieing in this email?
    This board abuses their power, is disrespectful to teachers and community members, crossed the line with anger and rage, and now will be wasting my tax dollars on litigation over tenure which was EARNED over the last four years. I’m glad Jaime Saracino comes from Rye, at least the tax dollars she wins in a law suit will go back to someone in this community. Not my child, like it should.

  21. Of course all employment issues are private — that protects the reputation of the employee! And the witch hunt directed at the School Board by a group of disgruntled kindergarten parents who have whipped themselves into a frenzy is ridiculous.

  22. Employment issues are private in THIS district to protect employees. Unfortunately, in this district it has also been used to assert undue influence. Fortunately the principal and superintendent were principled enough to forge ahead with the recommendation for tenure and the board chose to deny that recommendation. The results are evident and citizens should be disgusted at the abuse of power.

    If the board is unhappy with teachers in the district they should follow the proper channels and change the system of evaluation.

    This is much larger than a group of “disgruntled” kindergarten parents.

    I was referring to ANY informal meeting, phone calls, or e-mails which require public notes.

    However, with regard to the abuse of using Executive Session for personnel issues, it also puts the district in a vulnerable position.

  23. Excuse me IGNORANCE YOU ARE SO ANNOYING. You personify the expression “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”.
    If you really knew anything about NYS law you’d know that school board members are required to attend the training offered by the NYS comptrollers office in order to serve as trustees.
    You’d also know, instead of filling this thread with your false “information”, that a school board has a fiduciary responsibility under NYS law to NOT simply rubber stamp the administration’s decisions. As a matter of fact, in the report on the Roslyn New York schools scandal, the largest theft in public education history, the forensic auditors cited LAX OVERSIGHT by the school board as the primary contributing factor.
    School employees stole over 11.2 million dollars!
    And if you don’t think commiting a district to awarding tenure to a young teacher( about whom they may have reservations ) is a financial decision, you have your nose in a labor union handbook, memorizing Teacher’s Union Bullshit 101.

  24. And by the way all you legal scholars who are experts in the law as it pertains to public meetings, the responsibilities of school boards, confidentiality, personnel issues, law suits and on and on…
    Not one thing you have said tonight is factual under NYS law. Or if you do refer to a law actually on the books, you are incorrectly applying it!

    It is not illegal for a school board member to observe a class. All the garbage that you are spouting about what board members may or may not do or think or say is just…garbage!
    And guess what? Board members and school superintendents and department chairmen are entitled to express their opinons! There is nothing actionable here>
    MAYBE THE TEACHERS IN QUESTION CAN”T TEACH? Did that ever occur to you union goons? Why do only .2 percent of tenured teachers ever lose their jobs if it’s “simply due process” ( that is more doublespeak from TEACHERS UNION HANDBOOK 101)
    You goons aren’t fooling anyone. Your character assasination blew up in your face. No one on the Board meddled with tenure in the highschool despite DRAMA QUEEN Jamie Zung’s lies.

  25. I don’t think it is a primarily financial decision. And I certainly don’t think that the board’s denial had anything to do with finance.

    I thought Rye was concerned with quality of teachers;tenure is due process. You can still fire a teacher, however you must have just cause. How can a board have reservations when the principal and administrators don’t? On what grounds?

    Once again, trust the administrators you hired to do their jobs. If you don’t, what happened to your fiduciary responsibility? Why are you paying them?

    Training by the comptroller’s office is different from the offered training I am referring to. Why not look at the last study of 300 sitting members of local school boards and their understanding of their roles, responsibilities and authority?

    The board should change policy on evaluation if the current process makes them feel they are abandoning their fiduciary responsibility in following their paid administrator’s recommendations.

    And really, from the nasty tone of your post, it seems likely that you are a seated board member.

  26. So you can practice law without a clue and spout your nonsense on this blog- 4 or 5 posts worth, but if I call you on it, I’m nasty?
    Like the moniker “Ignorance annoys me” isn’t nasty?
    You are talking about real people here and you’re implying , in some cases stating, that they are ignorant of, or in violation of, the law.
    That is nasty, especially since this particular board is a very bright thoughtful group of people.
    So if you hire someone, you are never supposed to disagree with them, or then if you disagree on occasion you should not pay them, or you’re not fulfilling your fiduciary responsibility? So firing a seasoned superintendent with a PhD is ok, in fact required, if you can’t rubber stamp his every decision? But question the tenure of a popular young local girl and that’s it! You’ve committed heresy…
    No one needs to change evaluation policy if they don’t always follow the rec. of the Superintendent. A lot of time tenure decisions are made on “likeability” factors, not academic prowess. I suspect that’s the case here.

  27. I’m Curious….. When the hell does Dr.Shine or Dr.Grille ever attend a classroom while teaching is being performed??? How do they know their teachers abilities???
    My principal always walked into our classes & observed. I remember when first hearing Dr.Grille speaking in the Auditorium I had to ask someone who this woman was because she didn’t know how to properly introduce herself. Dr.Shine is a total putz & Dr.Grille is spineless.So for me their words of recommendation do not mean diddly!

  28. IgnoranceAnnoysMe – I’m in your camp completely. The rerouting of toxic conversation I was referring to should have taken place during both contentious BOE meetings and should have come from Shine or a member of the Board.

    Leadership and character are at issue and neither the Board or Shine have indicated the capacity for either. But they sure can count beans and hide them in line items!

    Noway – First, I am not a kindergarten parent, and do not believe in automatic tenure. So whoever posted above that this is way beyond kindergarten parents is correct.

    Something is rotten in Rye and it is Ed Shine and his relationship with the Board.

    Language is so interesting! You say “seasoned superintendent with a phD.” And I think “hack with old ideas, lining his personal pockets with taxpayer money at the expense of the community”. As for the PhD – it’s really an EdD which is bestowed on a person for perseverance and jumping through hoops. To get one, you do not have to be able to think or write or contribute anything new to the academic world. Try looking for Ed Shine’s dissertation. Actually, don’t you won’t find it. But Dr. Cohen, yes.

    It’s kind of like those mail order degrees that let you marry people only not as dangerous.

    Truthbetold – Dr. Grille isn’t the only spineless principal we pay a huge salary to. Have you met JoAnne Nardone? Her tenure was rubber stamped and she helped transform a homey elementary school into a building that looks like a hospital with accompanying upkeep and heating bills. The academic performance tanked in her first 3 years. And her tenure was rubber stamped despite the laundry list of complaints from parents.

  29. Also – the point about open meetings is quite valid. It has been said that Board members are making private calls to the other candidates to try and talk them out of running. What’s with that?

    There is a track history of the district hiding all sorts of things – test scores, line items in the budget that were never publicly vetted.

    And “lost hope” you’ve hit the nail on the head squarely: Someone is lying. Is it Laura Slack or Ed Shine? It is not “time to move on” as Josh Nathan declared last night. Someone lied. Why did they lie?

    Until that question is answered conjecture will rule. It’s as simple as “What did the president know and when did he know it?”

    Come on, Ed with the EdD -fess up! Get the email in question on Raw Story.

  30. Point of language:
    Union goons are those who break union lines and strikes by taking the job of a union member.

    Point of confusion:
    Release the email. Let’s see the contents. Otherwise Laura Slack will continue to be slandered…or not. Why is Shine afraid of telling us the facts?

    Did a Board member have personal preferences in terms of teachers’ positions or not?

  31. This is not a Watergate cover-up. This is about a few parents who feel entitled and are furious their commands are not being blindly followed. So they invent laws and conspiracies to further their own personal agendas and personally and crudely attack Board members and the administration because the aforementioned parents have no idea of the facts; they just continue to fabricate imaginary conspiracies.

  32. John Dewey –
    You got it wrong. “Union goons” typically refers to the musclemen who intimidate, by public disparagement, threats of bodily harm, or by violence, anyone who disagrees with the intentions of union bosses.
    Those who break union lines and strikes by taking the job of union members are known as “scabs”.

    Ignorance Annoys Me – If the board is not supposed to oversee the administration and question their decisions, exactly what is their role? I always thought they were on the board to represent the taxpayer, who elected them to the post to ensure that public money was spent responsibly, and management was conducted properly. Shine and the administration report to the Board, and the Board has a sworn duty to ensure any decision he makes is agreeable to the public. They may get it wrong on occasion, but they can be replaced as necessary through the elective process. Sheesh, didn’t you ever get an education? If it was from the Rye City School District, I guess you’re a sterling example of why MORE oversight is needed! And if you want to live in a truly “progressive” neighborhood, go elsewhere, please. I don’t want Rye to “progress” – it’s fine as is.

  33. Union Goons:
    A tough hired by a company to intimidate union members or strikers; a member of a “goon squad” or private corporately paid guards.

    Anyone who followed the coverage of Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday knows that.Scooter – bet you’re from that post boomer “me” generation that had history stripped from the curriculum under Reagan.

  34. Reality TV – you’re clearly new to the discussion in this town and district.

    The District “leadership” under Shine, Dan McCann, and the BOE, has been covering up stuff for years. The email is like a skin rash that indicates a serious disease. Because there is such a legacy of cover ups with Shine, it’s nearly impossible to trace the history.

    Let’s repeat: The contributors to this thread are not kindergarten parents. Some of us have openly said we do not support tenure. Do you need even more remedial help in understanding the situation? Put aside any class or personality issues you have here.

    If Shine and Slack are so innocent, then why the secrecy with the email? Why allow Shine to perpetuate negative speculation when it comes to Laura Slack’s intentions? Who is lying?

  35. Ed Shine is entitled to have private conversations regarding qualitative issues raised by reviewing staff up for tenure. Any school board member can comment on a teachers ability, particularly if that teacher is being considered for a LIFE LONG contract – which is what tenure is. They can work for 25 years, and in the case of a young teacher, we could conceivably have a financial commitment for the next 30 to even 40 years.
    Certainly a board with a fiduciary responsibility should intervene if they think that level of commitment to a less than stellar candidate would be a mistake.
    Its their responsibility to intervene on behalf of me, the public. The school board represents me, and it must remain independent.
    All this talk about “cover ups” is union rhetoric to obscure the truth. The Rye Teachers Union is trying to take over our INDEPENDENT school board composed of volunteer parents. They are running schills, who get financial support from the union and their talking points as well.
    Steven Tuch
    Chris Reppetto
    Susan Hendler
    Gwen Hughes
    have no independent reason for running for the board. They are simply pawns of the teacher’s union. Three of the four have never even been to a school board meeting before. And Tuch has lived in Rye for all of two years…that’s it.
    They are not qualified. Electing them out of personal feelings of spite, or trumped up “issues” of “what did the memo say” is short sighted and not in the best interest of TAXPAYERS and citizens of Rye.
    Jaime Saracino’s intelligence is a smoke screen, a private conversation between Shine and Slack, is not unethical or illegal, and need not be disclosed despite what all you legal experts believe, and therefore is also a smoke screen.
    The true issue is a UNION trying to control our school board.
    It’s happened in other communities, and certainly in Urban districts. It can happen here.

  36. John Dewey – it appears you agree you were wrong with your earlier definition of goon, that “scab” is the correct term? And the word “goon” did originally mean what you said, but companies long ago stopped hiring such bullies (sometime in the 30’s). However, it now typically refers to similar tactics employed by union leaders – which is exactly why I use the term “typically”. Ever hear of union bosses “hatting” someone? Trust me, you don’t want it to happen to you.
    I learned my history before Reagan was in office. And no, I didn’t follow Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday. I am not unaware of who he is and his influence on American music, it’s just that I don’t let my politics be dictated to me by a Harvard drop-out split-tenor with a Communist history. And his popularity peaked about the time my grandparents were finishing off their mortgage.
    Reagan, by the way, didn’t strip history from the curriculum, he simply exposed the lies peddled by liberals (and in the process, unleashed the greatest expansion this country – and the world – has ever seen).

  37. I heard that Slack told Jaime Saracino 4 years ago that she would never get tenure. If true, would that be premeditation and actionable?

    How come we haven’t heard about the custodian who sued the Rye School District for discrimination and recently won?

    Let’s see the e-mail that Rooney sent to the teachers and the one Rooney sent to Shine. Did Shine lie?

  38. The Rye Teachers Association did not show up at last evening’s Board meeting because the posted agenda was for a budget hearing. It was not posted that there would be a public hearing of “non-agenda” items. We respected that. It is interesting to note that when Mr. Nathan stated at the meeting that the public could speak on budget concerns, as well as any other item, there were plenty of people there to speak in favor of the Board. How did they know that they would be able to address “non-agenda” items at that meeting? What is really going on here?

  39. Mulberry — you are apparently a disgruntled union member, but for your information I have been attending Board of Ed meetings for 13 years and don’t remotely need your assistance in explaining anything to me.
    The ridiculous “legacy of cover ups” you spout about are obviously a figment of your imagination. The crude and abrasive public speakers at the two April Board meetings were both a disgrace and a disappointment. Senseless rumors about cover ups, with no facts to back up such claims, indicate that the accuser obviously has a personal ax to grind.

  40. And here I thought the current Rye City Council had just about cornered the market on closed door intrigue, backbiting and incivility to taxpayers. This wasn’t the way it ran in my student days under Mrs. Sinnott’s leadership.

    The way this string reads, I hope there’s a few police at tonight session. And a concealed weapons checkpoint.

  41. From the vitriol on both sides, id does sound like some would welcome the chance to bring weapons to the meeting, to “solve” the problem(s).
    Might we all exercise a little restraint, and realize that poor examples are being set by both sides? Children are not completely ignorant to this debate, and both teachers AND parents are setting some very poor role models. This is not Yonkers or “Da Bronx”.

  42. Scooter, you are a victim of public’s perception of the role of the school board, not the actual mandated role from the state legislature. The public may make demands of school boards, and school boards may justify their actions on the basis of implied powers, but ultimately they are State officials.

    The school board’s responsibilities include policy making, developing programs, employing personnel, managing buildings, levying taxes, etc. The law defines these responsibilities, they are interpreted by the courts but OFTEN they are expanded by the local community and become common practice.

    They should not be involving themselves in issues such as tenure recommendations of the administration. As one citizen pointed out at the second meeting, there are so many other important issues they should be concerned with; such as planning for growth.

    Once again, I would like to ask if any members of the current board availed themselves of the training available from the New York State School Boards Association which helps them understand their role as a corporate body. Or, are boards in this community just operating on the advice of experienced board members or the superintendent?

    The NYSSBA helps members understand what IS legal and what IS NOT.

    I think not availing themselves of this training is negligent and leaves room for a misinterpretation of the roles, responsibilities and scope of authority of the board.

    A board member should not have a personal agenda and should not be let the opinions of one parent or a friend cause them to question the administrator’s opinion. That is, in my opinion, abuse of the position.

    I think the public outcry is more than just a few disgruntled parents. I guess time and the elections will tell.

  43. Dear Poluttion Control
    That you again Ray trying to hi-jack the school thread with your narrow vendetta vs Hen Island and Rye.

  44. Oh please, this isn’t Watergate, this isn’t Arms for Hostages, this isn’t Enron or Abscam.

    So if your husband’s boss said something to him in a private memo and he leaked it to a fool who leaked it to another fool who made it public, you don’t think your husband’s behind would be out the door?
    Dr. Shine is entitled to private communications regarding personnel. Rooney made a BIG mistake in betraying his confidence by giving it to Tuttle, and Tuttle made a bigger mistake by betraying Rooney’s misplaced trust and giving it to Jamie Zig Zag Zung – a union bomb thrower.
    Dr.Shine should be mighty pissed off at both of them. He’s their boss, and if he makes them man up and tell the truth good for him!
    It’s not coercion…it’s common sense.
    There is no intrigue here. Private is private…people talk privately with colleagues every day in workplaces across America, public and private. No one owes any one any obligation to release anything. It’s PRIVATE and none of your business. I don’t care what it says.
    It’s all just another diversion from the real issue: A labor union is trying to take over our independent School Board !!!
    Wake up everybody! I don’t care if you don’t like this one or that one or you think Jamie Saracino walks on water instead of swimming in it. Too bad!
    Grow up and put aside your petty grievances.
    Then don’t vote for Tuch, Hendler (who’s a kook to boot) or Reppetto or Hughes.
    It’ll be Union v. Union at the bargaining table…THINK!

  45. Ignorance –

    Sorry, but your explanation doesn’t make sense. I don’t see how the board can be responsible for employing personnel but not have a say in tenure. And if they are responsible for levying taxes, they must be responsible for setting – and controlling – the budget. If they aren’t responsible for oversight of the administration, exactly who does Shine report to? Or is he some kind of “super-teacher”, with guaranteed lifetime employment and hefty increases in pay every year?
    By the way, I agree fully that board members should not have personal agendas. Their agenda should be to maximize the return the taxpayer gets from the teachers and school admin, while minimizing taxes. This would include denying tenure to sub-standard teachers.

  46. Hey Scooter, Thanks for having my back here.
    Its clear some people don’t like Shine or Slack, but I don’t give a damn. I don’t want my taxes raised to pamper some rude self absorbed labor union members in the name of “fairness.”
    The School Board is Shine’s boss.We elect them. They speak for me. I LIKE THAT!

    And Susan Hendler shouldn’t be let out in public…someone have a talk with her husband.

  47. The school board is Shine’s boss. Shine supervises the building principals. The building principals supervise their educators and recommend or not recommend them for tenure. It is not the board’s role to deny tenure against a principal’s recommendation.

    Ask the NYSSBA; evaluation of teachers is NOT the role of the school board.

    If an individual has an issue with an educator, they should take it up with the building principal.

    Ethical and legal governance is the hallmark of a civilized community.

    Let’s not forget, we are not talking about private industry here.

  48. And hiding behind “fiduciary responsibility” in this instance is insulting to the community.

  49. I’d like to clarify by individual I mean a parent, not a board member. A parent should be expressing their concerns about particular educators to the principal, not to their friend on the board.

  50. I’m sure parents speak to principals every day all over America, but Ignorance, a school board can certainly overturn a tenure decision. NYSSBA is simply a membership organization. NY State LAW allows boards that authority and they should exercise it if they see fit.
    Sorry, Ignorance, your ignorance of the law as it pertains to this has already been established.

    And stop tossing out this smokescreen. The union is using this tempest in a teapot to try to hi jack our school board.
    Don’t change the subject with your sh*%house lawyering.

    And “community” is more union speak. You must be an RTA rep. The community is Rye, and we don’t want our taxes raised.

  51. The saying goes “where there is smoke…there is fire.” Either Mrs. Slack or Dr. Shine is lying (or silently omitting the truth)about the contents of the email. Dr. Shine should be asked to publicly clarify the contents and intent of the email he sent to Dr. Rooney.

    Dr. Rooney should be asked to publicly clarify why he did not reccomend four teachers in the high school after, supposedly, giving them good reviews.

  52. Once again, that NY State Law allows boards authority as they see fit is a perception. In New York the State Commissioner of Education is empowered to interpret the educational laws of the State; not local board members. Courts also interpret the laws and determine proper legal definitions of the authority of school boards.

    The NYSSBA is current on both the Commissioner’s interpretations and the court’s.

    I am not an RTA rep, but rather a citizen interested in ethical and legal governance. I really don’t understand why your posts are so angry and personal, this is not a personal issue.

  53. And I am aware that school boards can and do overturn tenure decisions all of the time. They are corrupt in many ways by their very nature. My point is, they should be ethical and legal.

  54. Sorry Linus it was not me. Maybe, someone else who cares about pollution in the Sound. I would be happy to discuss the Hen Island polluters with you but not on this thread. You and I are like friends compared to what is going on here. I wouldn’t touch this one with a ten foot pole!

  55. Scooter-

    I would like to clarify that Miss Saracino was not identified as a sub-standard teacher. In fact, from the board meetings it is clear that she is a “stellar” teacher. It is my understanding that she has received excellent performance reviews and her students are well-prepared for first-grade. I hardly think there would have been such a public outcry, from parents, colleagues, and esteemed community members if this were not the case.

  56. What’s interesting to me, in this whole thread, is that other than Mr. Floaty and a few others, noone is willing to actually sign their name to a post. Come on…if you’ve got a valid opinion, don’t be afraid to show your face!

  57. Sorry Ray Tartaglione, I didn’t have your name in front of me when I made that last post. At least you have the b*lls to use your real name.

  58. Apologies to Ray Tartaglione on that last post…he’s never afraid to use his real name. A real hero…

  59. Your taxes went up exponentially over the past 12 years with Shine at the helm. And it was on stupid stuff. The Board enabled him. Don’t blame the teachers for asking for a contract which they are due. Collaboration,compromise, and any approaches that will reach something fair for all are impossible with the current Board.

    These old fear tactics about unions don’t work anymore – even in provincial, outdated Rye. Some are even exhuming the caricature of an anarchist throwing a bomb. Ludicrous.

    Why won’t Shine read the email and clear Laura Slack’s name? What is he hiding if there has been no conflict of interest, no meddling.

    And as for hiding things, Shine is an expert at that. There are hidden margins all over the years of budgets that he has supervised. This year alone, he hid a 5.6% bonus for himself. (The Board gave him a 14% raise last year.)

    The district has hidden Regents and other test scores; curriculum, teacher, and administrative failures.

  60. I think it is outrageous that anyone would comment on taking down campaign signs!!! How does one know Mrs. Hendler’s babysitter went and put them back up? This sounds silly focusing on lawn signs! I have not met the candidates, but I have heard them on 77 and what it comes down goes beyond complaining K parents. We need to fix our teachers union and I agree that we need to eliminate the abuse of power because in the long run it has a negative effect on our children and their education. As of now it feels that Mrs. Hendler is able to look at the current situations facing our district from the angle of a professional teacher, parent and resident. She will bring to the table what is in the best interest for our kids. That is how I see now anyway.

  61. Why would anyone even consider voting for Susan Hendler? As a member of a teacher’s union, there is no possible way for her to represent the District effectively in contract negotations as she will be directly affected through her work in Scardale by the outcome of anything in Rye. This is not a pro/anti-union comment. It is a fact. She can not objectively take part in any negotiation on behalf of the Rye City School District.

  62. Excuse me, “ignoranceannoys”, but exactly what was it that made it clear that Ms. Saracino is a stellar teacher? What has been said in public is a set of testimonials from parents of children who have been in her classroom, under her care. There has been very, very little spoken about her professional peformance. Caring for her kids, coaching them, etc. is all well and good, but that does not make for stellar performance. If I remember the comments made by the speakers, they included something that said Saracino’s kids did no better or worse than kindergartners from other Midland teachers. Hardly stellar. Just keeping up is more like it.

  63. Ignorance –

    Your faith in our state government is very touching, but I’d rather have a strong local board willing to ignore state law if such laws restrict them from taking proper actions to ensure the Rye taxpayer is treated fairly. The only time those idiots up in Albany stop screwing the taxpayer is when they’re screwing call girls. You really want to place your full faith and trust in these morons?

  64. bunny,
    I know because I witnessed it! And after witnessing Hendler’s stellar performance last night we won’t have to worry much longer! No Way anyone is stupid enough to vote for this FREAK. As the cameras rolled all night she sat there with her smut face rolling her eyes at her competitors every time they spoke. WHO let this Woman out of the cage?
    She couldn’t be more self serving and disrespectful. Hand picked by the RTA & it showed all night. And for Mr.Repetto,also hand picked by the RTA, no experience & brings nothing to the table. Mr.Tuch,hand picked by the RTA, all about money because he’s got it. WOOPDIE DOOO!!!
    There is nothing wrong with the education level in Rye. I’m with you Scooter,(scary) “IF IT AIN’T BROKE DON’T FIX IT”

  65. First, there are myths that need to dispelled immediately. Steve Tuch and Chris Repetto ARE NOT RTA CANDIDATES! Neither were recruited by the RTA. They are running because they believe they can help heal this dysfunctional situation. TruthBeTold is not being truthful–do some factchecking please.

    Moreover, if our goal is to help mend relationships, it is not helpful to call someone a FREAK. Please refrain from your tirades and stick to the facts that matter. New faces on the Board will bring something to the table. They will bring a desire to facilitate a respectful dialogue. Until all parties feel respected, there will not be any settlement.

    The RTA contract impasse is about a lot more than money. It is about respect and the lack thereof. I truly believe collaboration is possible, as other districts have been succesful in mutual sacrifice(Mamaroneck, Harrison, etc.)when there was a feeling of mutual respect. This is sorely lacking here and not only because of the RTA’s revelation of the Shine email (Dr. Shine- why don’t you just reveal the contents and then clear Ms. Slack’s name if that is true?).

    Disrespect has been going on for a long time. Nathan may profess to having improved communications and may take credit for the revised math program, but that only happened after community members were persistent and pushed for this Board to form the math committee.

    Mr. Nathan and Ms. Slack refused to accept any responsibility for the breakdown in communication that has occured. In fact, Mr. Nathan actually believe communications have IMPROVED during the past 6 year. I have been to many board meeting and served on committees and I know that communications have NOT IMPROVED, but have actually deteriorated.

    We need to mend these relationships and move on. Please consider voting for Tuch/Repetto and maybe Hughes since they are are willing to listen and work with all stakeholders.

  66. TruthBeTold, I also do not support the candidates you mentioned, but I do respect the time they’re putting into their campaigns. In particular, Hendler would be a disaster on multiple levels – divisive, conflicts of interest, etc. but at least she’s trying to run. That said, her answers last night were terrible. Save money by adding full day kindergarten because NYS will pay for it? Clearly she has no idea about how NYS funding works, that funding is NEVER 100%, usually less than 25% and when it comes to special education services more like 6%.

    Chris Repetto is trying, seems well spoken, but he has no real understanding of what’s happening. His Journal News comment that the District is “under taxed” reflects his being out of touch with reality. His comments at the League of Women Voters session that Rye is in the top quartile of administration costs says he doesn’t differentiate between NYS and Westchester county. He really doesn’t know what’s going on.

  67. Sorry, Speakout1, but you write of the need for respect and mutual sacrifice, then go on to talk about current board members only. Is it too much to ask that the RTA also show some respect and shared sacrifice? From what I saw of the last board meeting, the RTA representatives made our town look pathetic. The board gave them more respect than they deserved.

  68. After reading the postings, I just wanted to clarify a few quick inaccurate statements. I am not an RTA candidate. I was recruited to run for the board by someone in Rye who has done a lot of work for the board, who I have served with on committees and who, like me, is fiscally conservative. Not sure what “all about money because he’s got it” means, but I don’t want taxes to go up. I’ve recently sat down with a fellow member of the finance/budget committee to discuss ways to cut the budget. Not grow it.

    Unfortunately, I could not attend last night’s event because I am in Boston. But, I will be speaking at The Osborne next Tuesday night. Please come so you can hear what I really stand for.

    Thank you.

  69. Scooter,
    The point I was trying to make was that the two incumbents were asked whether they were satisfied with the state of relationships between Board, community, and teachers and they both said they thought the Board was communicating well and the only issue causing a problem was about finances regarding the RTA original requests. I believe that the Board is definitely to be held responsible for their part in the impasse and they should not act as if it is only the RTA’s fault. Moreover, several of the teachers who spoke at the Board meetings on 4/14 and 4/28 were articulate and non-combative (Jane Johnson, Harriet Sessa, Kristen Warner, etc.).

    As I left the school last night, I actually heard Nathan mutter that he wishes he had a stop sign which is what was used during the debate when the speakers’ time ran out. Is that considered good communication? I don’t think so. As V.P. last year and now President of the Board, he has demonstrated verbal and non-verbal hostility to many people, not only teachers. Last year he said he thought the community member should be charged for the time that was wasted when this senior citizen took the time to address the Board. Do you now understand why I feel that the Board has not set a tone of respect? There is plenty of room for improvement and new faces might be able to make improvements.

    Also, the administrative costs that Repetto referred to are real. Shine had a 14.9% increase in ’08 and this year will receive a payout for unused vacation days, of which he accrued 100. This Board negotiated his contract. They also hired Kathie Ryan at an increase of 30% over the past business officer ($180,000 vs. $129,000). These costs all need examination. Repetto is on the right track when looking for “fat.”

  70. So, Her (Hendler)snobby expressions of disrespect towards her competitors every time they spoke was ok? When asked why she didn’t attend the previous evenings budget meeting she replied(w/her snobby grin): “could not attend for personal reasons”. That’s a copout & a very cheap answer!!!
    If she is so concerned she should have been present!
    At least Mr.Repetto had the dignity to label his personal reason(parenting) for not attending.
    If you don’t want taxes to go up then maybe you should state which side of the fence of the contract negotiations you will be siding on. No one thinks that the RTA should be without a contract… But let’s get real!!!

  71. From what she was saying the other night it sounds to me that Mrs. Hendler has some special needs children. Perhaps she scoured school districts seeing which one would best fit their needs and the best way to get them certified by the school district and have them pay the $85,000 tuition. A run at the school board may help. Sound familiar?

    When are we going to get some clarification and a look at the e-mails from Shine to Rooney and Rooney to the teachers? Was Shine lying?

  72. I have been reading this thread for several days, and am amazed at the lack of civility. I have been a Rye resident for 28 years, and cannot remember a school board more divisive than this one. Part of the problem, in my opinion, is that there is an “us vs. them” mentality being exhibited by both school board members and members of the RTA when discussing the contract negotiations. As a result we have inflamed passions and not surprisingly an impasse, which MUST be resolved. In my opinion, the only way to break the impasse is to bring new blood to the table–and that applies to both the school board and RTA. I can only control the school board side, so I am inclined to vote for new candidates rather than continuing the terms of current board members who haven’t been able to resolve this critical issue. It’s simply time for a change. Also in my opinion, while I thought most of the new candidates presented themselves well last night, I am particularly impressed by Mr. Schmitt and Ms. Hughes. I welcome hearing the views of others.

  73. George Smith–I share your feelings about the need for some new faces to try and change the dialogue. Ms. Hughes had some interesting new ideas, Mr. Repetto and Mr.Schmitt had good thoughts about long-term financial planning and prioritizing, as well as Repetto’s desire to streamline administrative costs. Mrs. Hendler brings the perspective of another district; however, I feel she may be a bit too controversial and may have a difficult time remaining calm. I do appreciate the fact that she challenged the status quo, though, but I will probably not vote for her. I got a chance to meet with Steve Tuch last week and I feel that he “gets it” and is overall the best candidate. I did not know any of the 5 new candidates prior to this time and I feel that the best thing to do so that one is comfortable endorsing a candidate is to reach out by email or phone and set up a time to meet them or chat over the phone. They’re receptive and will listen. It’s too bad Mr. Tuch was not present at the debate because he has a fresh take on things. There is another debate at the Osborn Home next Monday, I believe and Mr. Tuch will be there.

  74. Speakout1 – Admin costs are definitely worth investigating, but don’t forget the total cost of education in Rye is significantly lower (average, per pupil) than almost every single one of Rye’s peer districts. Paying more for the current business official than the previous one probably reflects the skills / abilities of the new vs old.

  75. Bringing new blood to the table that has a vested interest in a teacher contract settlement at a higher rate than has been on offer may lead to a deal being achieved — but will it be one the community can afford? The increase this year is barely acceptable to many of our neighbors. A contract with 5-7% average increases in salaries is going to lead to a minimum of 4% budget increases and higher tax rate increases.

    I agree that there is no room for the rudeness and lack of civility shown on this blog. Similar, the way in which the RTA and a particular Board candidate has gone after individuals is inappropriate. The most effective comments made to date about the contract or tenure etc are from the reasonable comments made by people like Bill Ackerman and Cheryl Flood and some of the parents. But setting up any individual (be they teacher or board member or just plain tax payer) is wrong. Electing someone to the Board who behaves that way is rewardind bullying and is certainly not a formula for positive change.

  76. George Smith – Bravo. Yes – new blood on both sides. Even the most well-intentioned Board member or RTA head needs to step aside in order to get healthy negotiations going.

  77. The cultural pendulum needs to swing wide in either direction before a middle ground can be found. I am old enough to remember when the Sierra Club seemed like a bunch of wackos, when their approach to environmental stewardship has proven to be quite sound.

    Given that perspective, let’s take a new look at Ms. Hendler’s “in your face” approach. When one goes to speak in front of the board, one (used to) encounter the gatekeeper with a clipboard who grilled you on what you were going to say. Occasionally she’d make some kind of innuendo implying that the district administration had been gossiping about you.

    Then there is the three minute time limit with the perfunctory “Thank you very much.”

    Citizens have always been made to feel as if they were scraping and bowing to make a petition before royalty. No New England town meeting here!

    So, when Ms. Hendler says she’s adding on a bunch of minutes, to a board that historically been hostile to seniors, telling citizens that they should literally shut up, it’s a bit of a speaking truth to power moment. Irritating? Of course! Prophetic moments are always uncomfortable.

    No one is condoning this behavior, but it does have a history and the board does not come out very well here. They behave as if the citizens should scrape and bow before lords and dukes. The Dukes of Hazard look classy next to this crowd – stop sign indeed! – even if Shine runs the district like Boss Hogg.

    Also – I’m surprised the friends of Laura Slack have not asked her to demand that Shine read the email and clear her name. Friends don’t let friends get slandered.

  78. Speakout1, thank you for the information on Mr. Tuch. I did think that his opening and closing statements were thoughtful, and would have liked to hear more from him.

    Doubting Thomas, my premise is that new blood on both sides would lead to an improved negotiating environment that would result in a compromise. I agree that this community cannot afford tax rate increases at the rates we have seen over the last few years.

  79. In response to Doubting Thomas’ question…I seem to remember the evaluation process being explained at the second board meeting. From what I remember, meeting the expectations in your performance evaluations is stellar in this district. I believe it was said that very few teachers ever rate higher than that, and I think we can all agree that we have some great teachers.

    Additionally, comments from one or two observations from Dr. Cohen were also what I would call stellar.

    And why are we discounting parents overwhelming support of this teacher? I was very moved by the parent testimonials, as well as her colleagues and Mrs. Flood. Isn’t this type of commitment and caring in a teacher something that should be rewarded in this district?

    Shouldn’t that show of support count more than one parent’s access to a board member?

  80. Also, my comments on this thread have been premised with everyone’s understanding that NO REASON has ever been given to Miss Saracino as to why she has been denied tenure.

    This was stated at the second meeting with no response from the board other than, “We take tenure seriously”.

    I believe there is a legal time frame during which they MUST provide reasons.

    Do we really want a board who gets personally involved in administrative issues, denies tenure without cause, misses the time frame for providing a reason and leaves the district open for a law suit?

    I wish they would focus on long-term strategic issues that are very real. I agree with the citizen who is stunned that children attend class in portables in Rye, NY? Where is the planning?

  81. New blood on both sides sounds like a wonderful idea. Unfortunately, that’s not the way unions work. They have paid professionals who’s sole task is to win concessions, whether it takes months or years. They don’t give a damn about practicing civility or being nice – in fact, they relish adding rancor to the debate, because it serves to alienate management from the workers. They are willing to hold out for months or years to achieve their goals.
    Proposing that the Board of Education get new members to promote change is the first step in surrendering to the union. The current board has shown a backbone that has long been missing, and they should be encouraged by all taxpayers to hold the line.

  82. Ignorance –

    Do you think that children would learn faster and better if they’re surrounded by bricks and mortar, rather than plywood and plexiglass? Or do you think that Rye should spend millions to build temples, so that poorer taxpayers could then take civic pride as they drove past their children’s temporary educational sites in their 1974 Chrysler K-car held together with wire and tape? (It would be all that many could afford).
    Quite frankly, I wouldn’t care one bit if the entire school system were conducted in quonset huts or even campaign tents, as long as teachers did their job in educating their charges.

  83. 1. SPEAKEASY1 and MULBERRY are disgruntled women who have never gotten over the Milton Gym boondoggle. They are stuck, permanently, and are incapable of reason ever since. Their anger blinds them to the point they make such statements as …the fear of unions…
    GOOGLE the phrase “teachers union takeover of school board” and you will see articles from newspapers all over the country…current articles. If the RTA teachers union takes over our school board our taxes will go WAY UP. It is a fact and not a scare tactic. MULBERRY and SPEAKOUT1 know this, they are not stupid women, but they are burning to punish this board so much that they’d pay the higher taxes for a chance at revenge.
    They reference the board …for twelve years…NONE of the current board members were on the board 12 years ago or even 8 or 7 years ago. These women are harboring grudges from over a decade ago and must be seen in this context.

    Ignorance is a union flack who says the Education Commissioner interprets laws among other numerous legal misstatements.
    The COURTS in the United States have this supreme function.
    She has posted 8 or 9 times now and every post has errors. She’s hoping by repeatedly ignoring the issue of the RTA (teachers union) running candidates for our board, that they’ll slip it past Rye Voters May 19.
    Steven Tuch has lived in Rye only two years. He has no idea what we taxpayers went through with years of double digit tax increases.
    He skipped the league of Women Voters debate…they said it was his anniversary – read a statement but avoided questions.
    He skipped the Journal News debate – and avoided questions. He skipped the school board budget hearing. He never attended a school board meeting prior to a month ago when he (independent of the teacher’s union?) decided to run.
    He is on the Finance committee but has missed ALMOST HALF THE MEETINGS. I don’t think he should jump to the head of the line. There are more experienced candidates who have lived in Rye longer and better represent the taxpayers.

    Susan Hendler…well just look at her on TV…YIKES!!! and she is eye rolling smirking and twitchy. She also has never been involved in Rye at all and never attended a Board meeting.

    No one has ever seen Gwen Hughes before – a retired RTA member.

    And Chris Repetto seems like a nice enough guy but he said at the Journal News that our taxes are TOO LOW. He’s also never attended a board meeting before.

    All these “candidates” appeared out of the blue right after the Union said in the newspaper that they are looking to run candidates. Hmmmm…I suppose it could be a coincidence, yeah, right.

    TUCH HENDLER REPETTO AND HUGHES have all shown minimal or no interest or involvement in our district until the RTA was looking for someone to hand them a big fat raise. Do the teachers “deserve” a contract? Sure they do, and no one but the teachers is to blame for them not having a contract. They want too much money. All these other “issues” are intentional smokescreens.

  84. At Tuesday’s Board meeting Mrs Sinnett said that she called Josh Nathan to ask him to make an exception to allow her to speak at the public session although it was just a budget hearing. I had called the district office earlier to inquire if I could speak and was told that the board would only be hearing comments on the budget. Many of you here who are praising the integrity of the present board, please tell me why it seems that only the friends of Laura Slack showed up to speak at that session, and not with budget concerns, but rather with praise (albeit well deserved)for her. The Board also allowed person after person to electioneer for Laura and Josh. I believe that this is not allowed at a school board meeting.

  85. Nowaynohow-

    I believe my post said the Commissioner is empowered to interpret the laws. Does the Commissioner not promulgate regulations based on Education Law?

    And in the next sentence I said and also through the courts. I would like to see a court case where a school board denied tenure against the recommendation of the superintendent with absolutely no reason given, within the legal time frame or otherwise, and see the verdict.