Out-of-district school argument for endorsement?

The Doshi STEM program housed at LIHSA, the magnet school operated by BOCES, and the Malverne board of education were closely tied since the program’s inception. Malverne HS was allowing to enroll a substantial number of students, each year increasing the enrollment by about 5 students to the current 22 out of total 43 students in the program. 7 school districts participated.

Malverne Herald was reporting on the subject numerous times, emphasizing the involvement of the Malverne school board trustee, Josephine Bottitta. In 2016 BOE election cycle, the editor chose to rephrase and emphasize the efforts of a parent advocating for her own child outside of the Malverne school district.

Herald editor:

“In Malverne, three candidates are running for one available Board of Education seat. Michael Taylor, Jeanne D’Esposito and Jan Kasal have all been fervent supporters of the school district.

D’Esposito has contributed years of service to parent-teacher organizations and has spearheaded efforts to try to prevent the closure of the Doshi STEM program, which ends this year. Taylor has years of experience as a coach and mentor to students, and four years on the board. Kasal has been a force in the Malverne Educational and Fitness Foundation, and is a constant presence at school board meetings, posing tough questions to trustees.

While all three have the district’s best interest at heart, we endorse D’Esposito, who has shown us, and the district, that she not only knows the issues, but is ready with creative, clever solutions to problems. For the past several years, she has kept the Doshi STEM program alive through grass-roots efforts with other community leaders. We have also seen her utilize her research skills as an attorney to learn more about the educational system, and devoting 14 years to volunteering in district parent-teacher organizations.

We urge residents to give her their support.” (Highlight added).

Due to program’s close ties to Malverne, I dedicated two posts in this blog to Doshi STEM. It was an excellent program, although based on megalomaniac premises and, worse, the funding was not thought through. The students have been in jeopardy since the program started.

Apart from the program’s own logistics, it was not clear what plans the Malverne residents had in mind. The commute was relatively long, every morning from Malverne to Syosset, and back for lunch. Adding each year about 5 more students would require soon more buses. The response to my inquiry with the school district management clarified the matter: The plan was that it was decided to transfer the necessary funds to the 2110.490.00 account—$303K in 2015-16, $465K budgeted for 2016-17 SY. A different Herald editor might choose different criteria for endorsement.

I “urge” all parents to advocate for their child as vigorously as the Herald-endorsed candidate, but “home”—in their district schools. It affects positively all students and communities.

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