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Dial-up users on local subnet

I am using Debian linux boxes as firewalls at various schools and I have
come across one minor irritation:

Dial-up users dial in to an NT server which is on the same subnet as the
linux boxes and which gives ip addresses to the dialup users that are in
the same subnet as the Linux and NT boxes.

When a user dials in to the NT server, it can take up to 30 seconds for
the Linux box to start replying to pings (or anything else for that
matter).  Usually this delay doesn't occur at all, but I'd say around 20%
of the time connections are delayed.  I can ping other machines on the
same subnet as the NT and Linux machines.

I'm thinking this has something to do with an ARP cache or something
(which I admittedly know nothing about).  If I assign a separate subnet to
the dialup users on the NT server will that cure my problem?  Is there
some other way I could cure this problem?  Some other way would be better
as I have only got 7 class C addresses and 28 schools to divide them


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