On Thursday, Westhampton-Hampton Bays Patch posted an article reporting that the newly-formed group, Concerned Citizens of Hampton Bays released data that shows 2.8 percent of the Hampton Bays School District's student body is made up of kids that make their home at a hotel, motel or homeless shelter.
Michael Dunn, president of the citizens' group said he belives that these families are essentially "stealing $22,000 per child from the taxpayers of Hampton Bays."
Patch readers had a lot to say on the topic, many in support of Dunn'e statement. The following is a round-up of their comments. Feel free to add to the conversation by posting a comment below.
Stacey Reister wrote, "It's about time that something is being done about this! My daughters class in HBES 3rd grade is 24. Kudos Mike!"
Noreen Schreiber Comenzo said, "Its not fair to homeowners who pay taxes."
jks said, "It is unfair to everyone paying these high taxes. Most families have to work 2 jobs just to support their families, their babies are not delivered free and they don't get free medical care,etc. This just contributes to the problem of overcrowding in our schools. Thank you Mike for working to do something about it."
Bojames added, "To say that homeless children's families are "stealing" from taxpayers is a bit harsh. Should we not educate them and thereby produce an uneducated underclass like say in India, or what existed in western civilization before free universal education? A democracy cannot exist that way..it is the path to civil unrest. The real issue is why the authorities that place a family in a shelter in a school district do not reimburse the district for the cost of educating that child. All children should be educated ..even the homeless ones."
CCHB responded, "The 43 students that are coming from the motels that should not be used as year round residences and that are overcrowded as per Town and NY State laws are costing the taxpayers $ 22,000 each and that is not fair. I agree that all children have the right to an education and you are correct, in regard to the shelter, the tuition should be paid for to the Hampton Bays School District. But as it was stated in the article, if the student comes from another state, there is no reimbursement, and that is extremely unfair to the Hampton Bays taxpayer."
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