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What you need to know for 08/23/2017

Politics prevails again in Niskayuna school district

Politics prevails again in Niskayuna school district

*Politics prevails again in Niskayuna school district *Duanesburg provides more reasons not to run f

Politics prevails again in Niskayuna school district

Each year, Niskayuna Teacher’s Association [NTA] invites Board of Education candidates to its Executive Board meeting for a chance to gain its endorsement.

However, first-term candidate Rosemarie Jaquith failed to receive an invitation to the May 7 meeting, and the NTA endorsed the other two candidates, including Board of Education president, Deb Oriola, who supported last year’s failed budget and is responsible for a series of other questionable decisions this year.

Jaquith learned that her letter invitation was sent to the wrong address, despite her correct address being on file with the district. She asked for another opportunity to meet in person with the NTA before it made its decision, but was denied that opportunity.

How can the NTA make a credible Board of Education endorsement without properly inviting and meeting with all candidates? Many Niskayuna teachers and parents, like us, strongly support Rosemarie Jaquith for Board of Education due to her background and experience, including years of dedicated PTO and district committee service. Rosemarie will be a strong advocate for teachers and students in the current climate, and is worthy of NTA’s endorsement.

It appears behind-the-scenes politics prevailed once again in Niskayuna.

Anne and Michael Skrebutenas


Duanesburg provides more reasons not to run for school board

“Doing a good job” was one of the reasons given for the lack of interest in two local Board of Education seats, as well as the fact that people are too busy, the thanklessness of the commitment and the fiscal environment [May 5 Gazette].

I would like to pose a potential challenge to the assumption people believe their boards are “doing a good job.” In May 2013, the news story about the Duanesburg school district and the questionable dissolution of an advanced organic-chemistry class was printed. An advanced-learning opportunity was taken from six students who appeared before the Board of Education and begged the board to continue their class.

The superintendent posted to the school website that the class was too hard and students weren’t ready for it. Ironically the class in question was presented to, and accepted by, the Duanesburg Board of Education, which included a current senator who is on the committee for education — twice!

In 2010, $3 million was stolen from the Duanesburg school account and $497,200 was never retrieved. Last year at the Board of Education’s “Meet the Candidates” night, an incumbent was asked if his wife was still suing the district.

If these things aren’t enough to discourage a person from running for a Board of Education seat, I don’t know what is. Could it be that people just aren’t going to support or partake in the “politics” anymore?

Rita Peters


Changes needed in Ballston Spa school district

What gives with the Ballston Spa Central School District’s Board of Education and administration?

I can’t begin to imagine how they can justify a nearly 6 percent increase in spending in their proposed 2014-15 school year budget. Nor can I understand how they rationalize a nearly 5 percent increase in the tax levy. This is absurd considering current economic conditions, or any other circumstances.

What needs to be explained is how the additional revenue generated by the existence of GlobalFoundaries within the district’s borders has been applied. It's the same old story: more money, more spending. How about some tax relief? Board President Jeanne Obermayer should be voted out. The budget should be defeated.

And please, board and administration, don’t insult the voting public’s intelligence by telling us it is all for the kids.

James E. Callahan

Ballston Spa

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