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BOE Postpones Vote on Teacher Tutoring Policy

Great Neck Board of Education delays vote on proposed changes to tutoring policy.

The Great Neck school board has agreed to postpone a decision regarding a proposed policy which could disallow teachers from privately tutoring students who attend classes in the same building.

At a required third reading Monday at the Cumberland Adult Center, some requested the board take more time before voting on the issue.

If approved, the policy would ban teachers from tutoring students who attend classes in the same building, unless approval from the school superintendent is granted. 

As written, the proposal would continue to allow teachers to charge a fee to tutor students from other district schools beginning July 1.

Board President Barbara Berkowitz emphasized Monday, the origin of the proposed policy change came from administrators — not from concerns about individual teachers.

Citing the U.S. Constitution, longtime district resident Judy Lyman argued that fit parents have a right to act in their children's best self interest.

"I think I'm a fit parent and other people are fit parents and can decide who can come in their house with professional integrity," said Lyman.

The board needs go back and redo the proposal, according to Lyman.

"You can read 10 readings, you can read 20 readings as long as it's good policy. This policy is not a good policy as it stands right now," said Lyman.

Proponents of the changes argue that grade levels and departments often work together on materials, including assessments, which could create the perception that students being tutored by teachers in there own building may be gaining an advantage.

The board agreed to weigh comments made Monday and bring the proposal back no earlier than March 11.

"We are not going to do this until we're as satisfied or content as we can be," said Berkowitz. "But I know that everybody is not going to be pleased with it."

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