Comment by Resident at June 1 Public Forum

My children receive an incredible public education through the Bedford Central School District. They have had outstanding teachers to provide that education. As parents of a daughter at the High School, my wife and I could not be more impressed with Mr. Dossena, Mrs. Bazzano, Mrs. Fouste, Mr. Reed, Mr. Videla, Mrs. Chadwick, Ms. Riccardi, and Mr. Burns, and with Dr. Adelberg, who has coordinated it all.

As parents of a daughter in the Middle School, we are similarly impressed with Mrs. Mazzella, Mrs. Garbarino, Mrs. Garrahan, Mr. Putorti, Ms.Lange, and Mr. Bergamini, and we will miss Mrs. Berardi, who runs one of the tightest ships we have ever seen.

Make no mistake about it. As parents, we are PRO-TEACHER.

Likewise, as parents, we have had the opportunity to serve our students directly. We have participated as chaperones and class parents since elementary school.  We have coordinated science and math field trips to West Point, twice for the fourth grade class at BHES, and once for the 8th Grade at FLMS, several years ago. With the help of Mrs. Berardi, we have been able to create at Science Technology Engineering and Math group for Girls at FLMS.  This year alone, we have brought in female speakers to share their experiences with science and math, while becoming physicians, research scientists, and geneticists. We fund this group out of our own pocket. We are lifetime members of the Fox Lane Sports Booster Club, and participate in the Fox Lane Ski Club.

Our record speaks for itself. As parents, we are undeniably PRO-STUDENT.

But we are not fans of the BTA UNION.

While it is clear that our teachers and parents do a tremendous amount for our children, it is also clear that the BTA does nothing for our parents or our children.

The BTA takes care of itself, primarily those of its executive board and senior membership. And it often does so at the expense of it’s own junior membership.

Simple math teaches us that we cannot keep a budget increase under 2%, when the BTA insists on increases of 4% per year.

We watch each year as the BTA votes to let their younger members be terminated, to allow their officers and senior membership to maintain their system of raises and perks. In essence, they eat their young. Is this the lesson we wish to teach or children about compassion, service, and shared sacrifice?

The BTA has the power, if they decide to, to make this right. They know what concessions are necessary to solve our current budget difficulty. We ask Mr. Groarke to do so.

It is absolutely possible to love your kid’s teachers, and dislike the BTA Union. The two groups are not one and the same.

We note that when Wisconsin removed the requirement for teachers to join their Unions, the majority of their teachers opted out.  I am pretty sure that we would see the same thing happen here if our teachers were granted that option.


Joe Damore