A student walks through the campus of Nassau Community College...

A student walks through the campus of Nassau Community College on April 28, 2011. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The Nassau County Legislature has unanimously approved a $204.7 million budget for Nassau Community College that includes no hikes in tuition, fees or taxes.

But teachers union officials said the budget would help diminish the school's good reputation.

"We believe that this budget is driven by a vision for Nassau Community College more concerned with the political expediency of shortsighted financial priorities rather than with what it means to be a nationally recognized community college," assistant professor Stephanie Sapiie told the legislature before Monday's vote, representing the college's Federation of Teachers.

She said much of the college's savings comes from the anticipated retirement of 20 full-time faculty members who will not be replaced, leading to a 15 percent reduction in full-time faculty that compromises "the quality of education."

Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt, R-Massapequa, challenged Sapiie.

"Where do the students get their money for tuition? Mostly from their parents in these troubled economic times. We do not think this is the time to raise tuitions or taxes," he said.

In another matter, the legislature approved plans for a new automatic emergency telephone alerting service that officials said would save the county money. Officials of the Office of Emergency Management later could not say how much money would be saved.

Once implemented, up to 1,344 calls a minute can be made.

In a related matter, the legislature also approved mandatory telephone calls to residents 24 hours before spraying pesticides, such as those for mosquitoes to help combat West Nile virus.

The county makes such calls, advising residents about such things as windows, doors and pets. Tuesday's action mandated the calls.

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