ALBANY, N.Y. -- You may have been following @SachemPatch on Twitter as Sachem school district teachers and administrators traveled to the state capital on Wednesday and you may have read our initial news report on the action, but there was a plethora of quotes and comments made that were too good to throw away.
Here's some you might find interesting:
State Sen. Lee Zeldin: "Sachem has benefited from planning. The problem is it gets wiped out in one year. $16 million in cuts is just crazy. We don’t have an agreement on what we want to do [in the senate]. We want to restore money, but can’t get a consensus on what we want to restore. I firmly believe that state aid cuts will be less. Sachem will get less cut, but I’m not sure by how much."
State Sen. John Flanagan: "The governor put us in this box. That’s been exacerbated by what’s happened over the last two years. Long Island was disproportionately hit. The governor did this on purpose. By design he’s tried to pin all of us against each other. Sachem finds itself in this position because of the governor. He feels emboldened by his proposals."
Assemblyman Steve Englebright: "It’s for our kids. I don’t understand what they’re thinking. It really is a stupid budget."
Richard C. Iannuzzi, president of NYSUT: "I Spent 34 years on Long Island at Central Islip. I know how much it hurts to get those letters [about layoffs]. There were so many times I had to go through the difficulty of knowing who it is, who is getting it. It’s the teacher down the hall from you, it’s the person you know who is about to get married or about to have a baby, or who just purchased a house. Sachem has been there for us and we’re there for them."
Andrew Pallotta, executive vice president, NYSUT: "You can’t talk about knowledge based education and talk about laying off 15,000 educators. It’s k-12, it’s higher ed. It’s really unfair."
James Nolan, superintendent Sachem schools: “I don’t feel people in the trenches are part of the process. It’s borderline unethical when you paint with such a broad brush.”
Rob Scavo, president Sachem school board: "We’re here and we’re not going to stop fighting until we get our fair share. We want to protect the future education of this district. We want to continue to offer the high quality education in Sachem that it’s traditionally been known for."
Jim LaCarrubba, vice president Sachem school board: "There is a lot going on up here in Albany that’s really wrong. Government in times of need should look to help those who need the most help and I can't think of anyone who is in more need than our children and the people who give them that support are teachers. To pull those teachers out of classrooms in order to allow some millionaire in New York to add a little extra money to his bank account is damn near criminal."
Kevin Tougher, teacher at Cayuga Elementary: "We came up because we wanted to send a message to the governor that Sachem is a district that’s doing everything that school districts should do, to budget responsibly and to provide quality education. We’re the district that gets hit the hardest and that’s not fair. That has to change. I hope whatever money comes back, the ratio that Sachem gets is unlike how disproportionate the cuts were originally.
Jon Weston, teacher at Sachem North: "It seems like we got through to legislators. They saw the actions they make and the actions the governor makes have drastic affects on people in their district, especially the kids in Sachem. Hopefully they will relay the message to the governor in the revised budget in the coming months."