From a reader~~~~~
On Tuesday evening March 26, 2014 at 7 p.m., the Hamburg Teachers union presented to a handful of folks the great losses to the school district because of the last few years of "defunding". It is estimated that Hamburg has lost over $15,000,000 over the last 4 school years. Sadly for the children of Hamburg Central Schools , this is not your father's Oldsmobile (sic).
Over the course of the last decade not only has the money dried up, but so too has the ethical foundation of a once morally emblematic school district. We have learned that less than 20 parents attended last evenings presentation given by small group of teachers desperate to save their jobs, and exhibiting their own self-interest which appears year after year at "budget time".
The teachers dubbed the evening, "No Parent Left Behind", a clever play on "No Child Left Behind".
Parents and community members were urged to reach out to lawmakers and tell them to fund the schools, and maintain programming by opening the taxpayers purse to douse the school with money. At the same time, the teachers are in the midst of contract negotiations and have asked the district for over 5% raise. Meanwhile, a dysfunctional school board has opened the public purse and given over $165,000 in compensation to a young buck, with no experience, fresh on the superintendents circuit. As interim superintendent, Richard Jetter handed out raises and stipends to all those who gave him a wink and a nod in support of his ambitions, did his dirty work, and pretended to have respect for the foolish man. It is nearly April 1st, and the public has not seen a school budget and the only utterance which resonates in the community are the words of School Board President David Yoveine in support of a budget that goes over the tax cap.
Meanwhile, a group of "parents" organized in the Fall of 2013 and had no fewer than 5 community meetings attended by staff, parents and even students for the sole purpose of condemning a teacher and three board members. It has been reported that not once did the "community" group raise any issue related to school budgets, funding, tax increases, decreases, programs, classes, sports, art, drama or intellectual advancement of children. Rather, the group of scornful individuals pointed their collective fingers at those whom they do not know, did not make an effort to know, but rather set out in a poorly constructed campaign to destroy.
Three of the community meetings were shamefully held at Christian Churches- St. John the Baptist Church in Boston, Hamburg Presbyterian Church in the Village of Hamburg and The Wesleyan Church in the Town of Hamburg. These venues were used to orchestrate a "community" effort to exert dominance over those who were fairly elected by the people (not rigged voter machines) to positions of public service, and to spew venom and hate. The Hamburg Fairgrounds, which pays no tax to the schools, was used after being organized by the Hamburg Village Mayor.
The vitriolic attacks by a local attorney and others culminated in reports sent to the Commission of Education, which were used as press releases to further harass in an attempt to intimidate the subjects of the report. Petitions were created, petitions were signed, stories were manufactured, police reports filed and in a blaze of scorn the true fabric of the Hamburg School Community was sent to Albany. A tell-all story appeared in Buffalo News days before Thanksgiving 2013 which no one should be proud of.
The Commissioner returned a decision to the Hamburg School Community denying the petitions and urging the school community to hold hands and sing kumbaya.
So, there you stand Hamburg School Community- the bank account is empty, the leaders are corrupt and the moral compass of the community if off kilter. Lawyers, Doctors, Judges, Police Officers, Teachers, Nurses, Bankers, Businesspeople, Homemakers and Do Nothings have forever branded Hamburg Schools as a despicable institution filled with hate and contempt.
What a marvelous lesson to teach children.
So, while the staff of the school community hold out their hands looking for more money from Albany and from their neighbors to fund salaries and programming, one must ask if its not better to stay behind and not engage in the vileness that has become the Hamburg Central School District.