Superintendent Al Harper entered the packed board room at 135 Elmont at 9:23 PM, and was greeted with a standing ovation and thunderous applauds from the waiting audience. Someone shouted “Great job Mr. Harper”.
“The Elmont community values education” said Al Harper. “Elmont takes care of its children”.
Board President Michael Jaime thanked all the groups that participated in the effort to get out the vote. “Imposing an [arbitrary] cap is not the way to effect change” said Jaime.
“Politicians still continue to be guided by polling data” said one attendee “tax caps poll well, what are they to do?”
“Lead” was the answer given by another member of the audience. “State politicians are ensuring that communities like Elmont as pushed behind when they vote for education funding policies like this. Don’t’ just vote ‘Yes” to a policy because it is easy and popular with your base.” (related must read link)
At Alden Terrace 76 percent voted for the budget. School Principal Amy Buchannan was elated. “Parents at Alden always support Public Education,” said Tiria Onwuchekwa. She passed out flyers, made phone calls and educated new parents as to what was at stake and why.
“Many parents especially those in the earlier grades and residents that are new to the district do not understand the connection between voting in school elections and the services their children receive” said another Alden parent. “We have to be more proactive with new parents and residents”.
The voting machine at Alden Terrace School did have a problem at approximately 10:30AM said School Board Attorney, Column Nugent. The Board of Election was notified and responded promptly. Paper ballots were used during the malfunction. There were 16 additional “yes” votes at Alden Terrace but they were not counted as they were executed on Row B of the voting machine.
Dutch Broadway PTA President, Marie Saint Vit, was proud of her Dutch Broadway parents. Of the 788 votes casted at the school, 613 voted for the budget. That is 78 percent voted for Public Education. Walter Aksionoff, Principal of Dutch Broadway School politely turned to the PTA President and nodded approvingly. “Thank you” he said, “your energy and leadership in the building was invaluable in helping to protect our building and the district’s children”.
Voters at Elmont Road School voted 78 percent for the budget and parents at Gotham Avenue School voted 75 percent for Public Education. The Clara H Carlson School Community voted 65% for the budget.
Elmont’s support for Public Education runs deep. Elmont Chamber of Commerce members texted friends to remind them to vote. “I am not a resident in the school district otherwise I would vote” said one member. He continued “but I called my friends in Elmont to remind them”. The Shop, The Elmont Youth Soccer Club, and The Elmont Cardinals Football Team, GYO, Parkhurst Civic Association, Tudor Manor Civic Association, Jamaica Square Improvement League and other groups joined in a collective effort to get the vote out.
In addition, candidates for public office encouraged voters to vote. Notably, Democratic candidates for the newly formed 22nd State Assembly District Patrick Emeagwali, Milagros Vicente and Michaelle Solages all made public statements encouraging voter participation.
Carrie Solages, Legislator for the 3rd LD in Nassau County was present at Elmont Road School as the results were ratified by the board and commended the efforts of education advocates “I have a new found respect for education advocates”. He noted that Elmont is leading the way against many of the broad education and political issues in the county and the state. “Closing of the 5th Precinct, privatizing Public Transportation, redistricting or closing the gap in Public Education funding - Elmont is there leading. “I am proud to serve a community like Elmont”.
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