The Lynbrook Board of Education took a stand Wednesday night against a bill that would require school districts throughout New York to establish a seniority system for teacher aides, monitors and other non-union employees.
The resolution, which passed unanimously, was a late addition to the agenda for the Aug. 8 business meeting.
It addressed legislation that "would force us to recognize seniority in areas we normally don't," Lynbrook Schools Superintendent Dr. Santo Barbarino told the board. "We would have to go by a seniority system rather than what's best for the child."
For instance, Barbarino explained, a teacher aid who has less years of experience in the district but a "wonderful relationship" with the student he or she is assigned to, could lose their job to another teacher aid with more seniority. The more-seasoned aid would "bump out the younger" one regardless of who has the better relationship with the child.
Like Barbarino, superintendents across Long Island, are urging their school boards to take a stance on this issue. Hewlett's school board passed a similar resolution Tuesday night. "We, the superintendents, believe that this is something that is not working in the best interests of our students," Barbarino said. "It has never been the case before and I don't know why [the legislators] are doing it now."
Barbarino said he will be writing to Gov. Andrew Cuomo letting him know the Lynbrook school board opposes this legislation and asking him to veto the bill if it comes across his desk.
"We are asking the governor to help us out here," he added. "It does not speak to the best interests of the child. It ultimately speaks to the interest of union laws."
Find out what else was discussed at the August Board of Education meeting next week.