Readers Write: State should run local school districts

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The prices for the houses in Great Neck have significantly dropped in the past decade while the prices for the houses in the five boroughs of New York City have increased by several folds. 

MLS listings in recent years provide evidence to a continually escalating number of houses for sale being on the market in Great Neck. 

Currently, there is an unprecedented listing of 208 houses for sale in Great Neck.  A Kings Point House which used to be at $3.4 million a decade ago currently is offered at $1.9 million.  A similar house in a good neighborhood in the 5 boroughs ranges from $3 million to $4 million.

But why?

“When I show the houses in Great Neck to buyers, they love the houses and their prices but when they find about the taxes they freak out” is the reason for the large number of houses in the Great Neck market according to a realtor whom I spoke with. 

She attributed the adverse trend in the property value solely to the extraordinary high real estate taxes in Great Neck.

The worry for many residents is the current vicious cycle that Great Neck is going through.  The real estate taxes are increasing, more people cannot afford the taxes.  Either they leave Great Neck at will or forced to leave their homes by the bank foreclosures. 

As a result more houses are on the market, the property values drop further, more temporary residents who want to use the schools for the duration of their children attending Great Neck schools move temporarily to Great Neck increasing disproportionately the student population and causing levying of more school taxes, which in turn causes more and more people cannot afford the taxes…. 

This is a vicious cycle and is destructive to the future of Great Neck and needs to be stopped.

How?

Why are the amount of taxes paid in the five boroughs are several of magnitudes lower than Great Neck?  Why not use a similar approach which the public schools use in the five boroughs?  It certainly works well for them.

Unlike our board of education who are composed of five part-time amateur volunteers, the board of education in the five boroughs are professionals who are paid full time. 

After all, you are demanding too much from part/timers.  Yet the size of the school district in Great Neck does not justify salaried professionals.

What’s the solution?

New York State must be in charge of Great Neck and other school districts, e.g., Jericho, Mamaroneck, Roslyn, Herricks, Manhasset, Mineola, Syosset, e.t.c. to share resources to operate more cost-efficient, to bring in a more competitive workforce, more competitive contractors for repair and new construction and to cut waste.

Legislators must look into this and put it as their future campaign agenda.

Leon Ebrani

Great Neck

2 COMMENTS

  1. “Why not use a similar approach which the public schools use in the five boroughs?”

    Because it insures that the poor will pay double the percentage of their income to pay for teachers and police than the wealthy do.

    The grift is the whole point. That’s why no one gets rid of it.

  2. That’s a terrific idea! One Nassau County school district! That means the kids living in Roosevelt have an opportunity to attend the Great Neck schools!

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