Date Posted

On behalf of the Hauppauge Teachers Association, I would like to thank everyone who participated in the budget vote process. We wanted to share our appreciation for everyone in the community who took the time over the past several weeks to have their voices heard in support of teachers and the district. We know some of you have wanted to hear from us about recent events involving our association and the Board of Education. I've had personal conversations with many of you, and I appreciate the opportunity to be heard. Ultimately, the association believed the focus needed to be on working to pass a budget that supports our students, rather than on public battles that sow division.

Here's our perspective: We have always been and remain willing to engage in discussions with the district to promote fiscal responsibility and the district's financial stability. Our conversations with district leaders continue. But the take-it-or-leave-it proposal put forward by the district was based on an anticipated funding cut from the state that hadn't yet happened and would have had too severe an impact on our membership both now and in the future.

The Board of Education had to make tough choices regarding the school budget and how best to use the money saved during the closure. Their choices led to difficult conversations with the HTA within a very short amount of time, which may have led to some confusion within the community.  This was never our intention. Please know that while it is devastating to lose any teachers, our membership voted for what they felt was the right choice in this situation. I respect my teachers and the decision they made. While we disagree with the way our position has been portrayed, we're ready to move forward.

This has been a stressful time for all of us and many in our society have focused on the value and power of our "essential workers." We join them in applauding our heroes. While we may not have been on the frontlines, I truly believe that Hauppauge teachers have performed an essential duty in the face of significant challenges. Our goal is to teach our students the skills they need for the next step in their lives and to foster resiliency and a life-long love of learning that will help them overcome the challenges of tomorrow. We are here to teach your children, support your children, and love your children - because they are extensions of our own families. That has always been and will always be our number one priority. And it's with great pride that we have a role in creating a school district that was named among the best in the country and tops in New York State earlier this year by U.S. News and World Report . 

We know the next few months will be about rebuilding. We will continue to work tirelessly to meet the needs of our students academically, socially and emotionally. This task will not be accomplished in the next few weeks or months. It will take time. We ask that you join us in creating an environment that does not pull us apart through distance, but brings us together through our dedication to our students, our dedication to the community and our dedication to our teachers. We continue to embrace our role as members of this community, and stand ready and willing to engage with all of you as our neighbors. 

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