Many of us may believe from the popular mythology that incumbent NYS Senator Jack Martins funds local schools in educationally meaningful ways. In fact Senator Martins allocated grant money totaling less than 1 percent of the annual budgets for the Sewanhaka Central High School District and the Elmont School Districts combined! Yes – this is true, but you wouldn’t know it if you talked with the boards of education and administrators for those districts. In fact, if you walk the taxpayer funded halls of Dutch Broadway School or use the track at Elmont Memorial High School you may be led to believe that Senator Martins singlehandedly funds the buildings.
For several months, the halls at Dutch Broadway Elementary School were adorned with photographs of Jack Martins as he took advantage of Dr. King’s birthday and the parents and children of our community in January, Blackish History if you will. At Elmont Memorial High School, the extraordinary large green and white on black sign emblazoned with bold print “Jack Martins” greets students and health conscious community residents as they use the athletic field and track. Interestingly, there are no such brazen signs erected on public property at other schools within the Sewanhaka District or the other towns falling under Martin's constituency.
So the question: Should we taxpayers support these districts with our increasingly difficult to earn tax dollars when school administrators and comatose school board members behave as if the less than one percent in grant money (our money) handed over to them by Senator Martins is educationally meaningful? Maybe it’s time “we the people” reduce our own taxes by not funding bonds and passing budgets of both districts. Perhaps it’s time we take matters into our hands and demand that the marginally legal, but overtly political ads hung on our buildings be removed in exchange for a shot at passing next year’s budget.
Oh, but the children – nonsense! The grant money doled out by Senator Martins is as child centered as the backdoor $80 tax issued to 29.1 mile-per-hour-driving, law abiding citizens by the county, in their newly crafted and highly unpopular “school safety speed zones”.