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Letter: Student spending far above average

Many desks inside this classroom at Valley Stream

Many desks inside this classroom at Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School were empty on Thursday, April 16, 2015 as students opted out of the state's English Language Arts test. Tens of thousands on Long Island are expected to refuse the math exams, too. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

In your story on public school spending per child ["Tops in spending," News, June 3], Ryan Ruf, associate superintendent for Eastern Suffolk BOCES, states that because of the "extra opportunities for our children, there's justification in being a little above the average."

National per-pupil average spending was reported as $10,700. Long Island's average was $19,818. Almost double does not in my mind compute to "a little above the average."

Our children's performance is not double the national average. Why should our costs be? Yes, it is more expensive to live on Long Island, but it's certainly not double the national average. It's salaries that fuel these numbers.

John Dooley, Patchogue