A Hidden Agenda?

1
1991

One of the major and more important concerns I have—and for that matter for any Great Neck resident who votes in the May 16 school board election and bond/budget referendums—is whether any candidate for board trustee has any affiliation or ties, including whether he or she is a parent of a child who attends or has attended a private school.

The reason for my concern is obvious and begs the question: How does such a candidate pledge allegiance first to the care and quality of our children’s public school educational needs without having a conflict of interest? The answer is quite clear. Simply put, that candidate, if elected, will be biased, place in jeopardy or/and prevent any policy to be considered by the board that obtains in favor of a whole body of plans to enhance and advance our children’s quality of education, from kindergarten and up.

In the case of Ilya Aronovich, a candidate running to replace Susan Healy, his election portends a bleak educational future for two reasons. He does not hide that not only does he have children in a private school but also that he serves on one of them, the board of the Silverstein Hebrew Academy. In addition, he recently hedged on whether he would support the bond proposal.

The situation is somewhat different but rings familiarly with Nikolas Kron, who’s seeking Larry Gross’s seat. In his opening remarks during the recent meet the candidates night, he stated that three of his four children attend or have attended our public schools. He failed, however, to disclose that he served on the English and general boards of the North Shore Hebrew Academy while his children attended elementary school there, according to his website. His youngest child still attends the private school. An oversight? I doubt it. An odd omission but not puzzling, considering any admittance would most likely cost him the election.

I have nothing against private schools. They definitely have good intentions and goals. And I respect freedom of religion. However, being a parent is one thing; being a candidate is another.

I urge you to vote for Rebecca Sassouni to replace Healy and to vote for Jeffrey Shi as Gross’s replacement. From what I have observed, both will be excellent board trustees, dedicated and objective. Please vote Yes for the bond and budget on May 16.

—Bob Sobel

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