Thursday, March 11, 2010

What's In/Out* Of The School Budget

IN                                                                  OUT

7.6% Tax Rate Increase                  No Tax Hike

Schools-of-Choice**                         Pre-K Bussing

West Ridge Kindergarten**            Reduction of 60 FTEs    

Teachers' Salaries/Benefits**         School Resource Off

Most Sports, Music, Drama**       MS/Elem Summer School

Signature Schools**                        Smaller Class Sizes

Secondary Options                          $110,000 In Stipends

Geese Wranglers                           Assets Program

$230,000 New Supt. Salary**         Technology Acquisitions

76% Graduation Rate               Equipment (ex. for safety)

8% Drop-Out Rate

* Based on most recent info available

** No demonstrated benefit to student success
  

32 comments:

SCATS said...

Please note ~~ The list may not be exhaustive as it keeps changing. Also note that given the data on graduation & drop-out rates from NY State released earlier this week, teaching staff & the current Supt. seem to have had a NEGATIVE impact on these outcomes in Greece ... thus the notation with the asterisk.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we could share the geese whisperer with the county airport since the Canadian geese are hurting the planes engines. We all did see that story today?

Anonymous said...

Scats, what would you do?
You seem to want smaller class size, but advocate closing buildings.
You seem to want to save teachers, yet would be happy to let some go to close kindergarten at West Ridge.
How, specifically, would you get us out of the hole we are in?

SCATS said...

To 8:44PM ~~ With 2000 fewer students than we used to have, we need to close at least 2-3buildings and reduce teaching staff! That would save many thousands of $$s. Class sizes have been at a reasonable level the last few years. It is NEXT year that they will be raised once again ... regardless any other changes. Programs, extracurriculars, everything must be streamlined to become efficient in the use of staff, buildings, other resources and $$s.

Eliminating elementary & middle school summer school for the masses while retaining WR kindergarten for a few dozen is a travesty the BOE is foisting upon those students who will become our future drop-outs or who would otherwise fail to graduate.

Anonymous said...

There is going to be a citizen's uprising, I can feel it coming.

SCATS said...

To 10:37PM ~~ I pray you are correct! It's about damned time.

Anonymous said...

They don't think the geese will land on the fields as soon as the goose whisperer and his dog leave. What a racket,whats next a sea gull whisperer to keep the sea gulls away from the parking lots.
The district has no money,but we can pay for this, amazing..

Anonymous said...

Scats,

What is a "reasonable" class size?

In regards to streamlining:
Which programs?
Which extracurriculars?
Which staff, buildings and other resources?

Anonymous said...

SCATS:

Nice job with your "What's In" "What's Out"

The current actions and/or lack of action on the part of Greece Central's BOE is at a level of a crime to the students of Greece Central. It is dirty politics, personal agendas, personal power and take care of my children/family that rule in Greece Central today.

From SED release this week:

Olympia High School: Lowest graduation rate in suburban Monroe County 72%.
Olympia High School: Highest dropout rate in suburban MC 13%

Arcadia High School: Second lowest
graduation rate in suburban MC. 75%
Arcadia HS: Second lowest dropout rate in suburban MC 8%

A city high school "School of the Arts" has a higher graduation rate than ALL THREE of Greece Central's three major high schools at 83%

Sincerely

Doug Skeet

SCATS said...

To 6:53AM ~~ What is "reasonable" or "streamlined" in this economy is that you build the budget from the BOTTOM UP. Start with the core essentials to deliver a solid educational program ~~ CORE ACADEMICS and whatever mandates. Those are the "need to haves." Staff them. Equipment them. Do it in as few buildings as possible save for a cushion allowing for projected "growth" in enrollment (if any) that is seen in the next 3-5 yrs. Close the other buildings down. IF you have money left, begin adding to the core with other programs/services that support the core. That might be things like art, music, certain electives, etc.
Any money left? If so, build another ring of support services around the first two, but whatever you add should be done to support your main goals: graduating students who have learned the required curriculum, yada, yada, yada. If you are $14 million short (like this year!) then you probably can't afford geese wranglers, marching bands and field hockey teams.

Let me be Supt. I'll do the job for half the salary :D

SCATS said...

Doug ~~ I wish I could hire loudspeakers to shout the new graduation rate & dropout figures from A-PAC's roof! I've never been so thoroughly disgusted with this "school" (I use the term very loosely) district, as I am right now :(

Anonymous said...

Start setting up your telephone trees. This year's biggest Tea Party is coming to Greece!!

Anonymous said...

I just got an assessment increase. Isn't this kind of late??

Anonymous said...

To 8:38
You probably have not noticed the flocks of Geese at several schools from spring through fall every year. Droppings everywhere on fields and parking lots. Not very healthy.I am only one of many glad to see the district finaly try to do something about it. Kids playing outside and on the play grounds walk through and fall in the droppings. Although you may not care, others do. I'm sure it did not cost as much as a piano to have a dog chase the Geese away to keep the grounds clean!
Okay SCATS, let me have it.

Anonymous said...

The real problem is that the board has no control over nearly 75% of the budget(salaries & benefits of union members).
The GTA complains about being without a contract for 4 years, but they have no incentive to actually come up with a solution. Their old contract continues through some amendment to some law and they are still receiving raises and increases in benefits.
Seems odd to me that a group which claims to want cuts as far away from the students as possible refuses to offer any concrete savings to a district that is clearly in financial distress.
I think the discussion would be quite different if some the union groups would step forward and make some concessions.
But then again, I might see flying elephants first!

SCATS said...

To 12:29PM ~~ I live near several schools and I can HONESTLY SAY with one exception I've NEVER seen geese on any of their fields. I can also say that the buildings I'm most familiar with as a parent have not been "targeted" by geese either. However, I have seen flocks of SEAGULLS descending upon the athletic fields though, quite a different creature. Would you please inform me which buildings have the geese issue? I want to try to keep my eye out for it myself. Thank you.

The problem with this whole "goose wrangler" scenario is that it doesn't treat the root cause. Has anyone ever asked "Why are these rats with wings attracted to school district property?" I'm pretty sure one main answer will be that there is GARBAGE !!
If sports spectators weren't allowed to dump their litter and leave, there would be less for the mowing machines to spew over the fields around the schools. Ever see how finely chopped a soda can is after tangling with one of those behemoths?

SCATS said...

To 1:41PM ~~ I agree with you. The "beauty" of building a budget from scratch though is it allows you to retain the best. The rest get laid-off! In the end, if you gotta pay, at least you should be getting some bang for your buck ;)

SCATS said...

To 9:40AM ~~ What's the date at the top of your notice? Mine was dated in January. Hearings are winding down soon too I think. Better call the assessor's office and talk to one of those "mild-mannered" ladies behind the counter.

Anonymous said...

To 12:29 from 8:38. I was just making a funny. Do you have no sense of humor? I dislike geese with their aggressive behavior and giant droppings ...disgusting...as much as you obviously do. And the attraction of the geese is the standing water that is near certain schools . This is due to bad drainage and the town fathers requiring retention ponds to make up for bad drainage in new subdivisions. There was a group of geese...flock..gaggle....
taking up residence at Kirk Rd school for the last couple of years. The walkway there was filled with the poop. I called the safety guy at the school district. He used to be head of security? Told him that it was unhealthy. The geese poop and geese seemed to be absent this last fall. Haven't checked recently so maybe the goose herder has gotten rid of them. They are a protected animal so we can't kill them. They can kill us as they fly in front of planes.

SCATS said...

To 2:17PM ~~ If retention ponds the Town of Greece REQUIRED are the attractant then I believe the Town of Greece ought be doing something to FORCE the retention pond owners to make these places unfriendly for geese to congregate. They do not like ponds that have little trip wires, long grasses, cat tails or other plants at the edges, etc. In fact, all of this is part of GOOD management of such ponds. Where is Uncle Auggie and his henchmen when you need them?

SCATS said...

Oh and one more thing. Since the Town of Greece makes GCSD pay to have security (police officers) in the buildings, I believe that GCSD should get the Town of Greece to pay for the goose wranglers since the Town's zoning/building requirements are the root cause. It's fine by me if the town decides to make the developer pay, as that's the way it ought to be.

Anonymous said...

Both good ideas scats. But once the developers have sold the properties the tending of the ponds appears to be up to the property/house owners. They are at a loss of what to do. Some have put up the little fences to keep them off their property but some others are feeding the geese. This is at the corner of Kirk Rd and Janes Rd. There is also a property owner of a large estate back in Kirk rd across from the little street that leads to the school that attracts the birds on purpose with his own ponds. The town offers no help when you call. They have washed their hands of the situation.
BTW there are people who fish at that pond at the corner. Funny considering the home owners whose properties look out on the pond.

Here's an idea. Why can't the town and the school district get together to address the problem? For that matter why can't the county address the problem with the birds in the flight path? Inter municipal cooperation. Oh I forgot. The bird they all emulate sticks his head in the sand.

SCATS said...

To 3:13PM ~~ I'm pretty sure the Town could put into their code compliance books something that addresses the pond maintenance issue regardless who owns the property. Of course, they would have to "want to do it." The idea of any sort of true cooperation between the town & GCSD is amusing at best! Think about it ... Boily & Auggie at the SAME table trying to "resolve" problems created by each of their closed, clubby & corrupt groups. I just don't see it happening. (God, I'd LOVE for them to prove me wrong!!)

Maybe the new chief could take target practice for his subordinates over to the ponds ... I know they are "protected" birds, but it's not like either the Town or school district pays much attention to the laws, rules and policies that govern them anyway ;)

Anonymous said...

10:37 PM: It has already begun.

SCATS said...

To 8:16PM ~~ As evidenced by ... ? Don't get me wrong. I'd be very happy to see the sheeple of Greece wake up and smell the coffee. I used to believe it was going to happen. I haven't seen anything close to it since Anne Miller won a seat on the BOE in the BIGGEST landslide in BOE history.

Anonymous said...

Sorry 8:38
I will try to have a better sense of humor, not always easy (Job cuts and all) Anyway, what the geese leave behind is disgusting. Glad to see something done about it.
SCATS, I've seen the birds at Kirk Road as well, and Lakeshore, Parkland, Autumn Lane and Apollo. I will try to take a video to share.

SCATS said...

To 10:15PM ~~ Thanks, but I think we already know what goose poop looks like :) I've seen geese in the wooded area in front of Apollo ... of course the retention ponds across the road (Tops land?)attract them. I've seen seagulls at Autumn Ln, but never geese ... hmmm ... maybe they take turns.

10:15, the point of all of this is whether or not we should retain such items in a budget where we are cutting classroom programs and at a time when our graduation rates just took another nosedive. I'm sure that dodging the poop is no fun. Neither is letting kids fall behind by cutting summer school from the budget and those are the choices the BOE is making.

Anonymous said...

With all the problems in the Town of Greece, the main concern is geese poop? UNBELIEVABLE.

Get a grip people. Get over it. Why don't you all get together and volunteer to clean up the geese poop at these schools since you are so concerned.

Or are you all too old to get that amount of strenuous exercise? I think the keyboard is the only exercise most of you get.

SCATS said...

To 7:35AM ~~ Actually it is a HUGE issue. When this topic first came up, it was in relation to hiring someone to shoo geese off the ATHLETIC FIELDS IN WINTER! That is just plain a waste of $$. As I said earlier, without treating the root cause that attracts the geese, we're just p*ssing this money away, over and over again.

I'll bet you're the same guy who is just fine with everything Uncle Auggie does, because your street gets plowed, right?

If you want "volunteers" to clean it up, then by all means feel free to enlist this district's athletes and their sports booster parents. If these folks didn't leave the fields full of litter, the geese might not see them as such a great place to hang out.

Anonymous said...

To 7:35

Please read these. Even the spores can be airborne from the fecal matter and be all over the property. There is no cleanup for that. And the feces of the geese are bigger than most dogs'.

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ws/researchreports/report06.pdf

http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/3669.html

http://www.cityofseattle.net/parks/communitynotices/goosefaq.htm

http://www.unitedwildlife.com/AnimalsGeese.html#6

SCATS said...

To 1:06PM ~~ Spores!?!? Eww...

Anonymous said...

We pay enough in taxes to clean up the fecal matter put out from the town 7:35...sounds like you may be a depositor as well.

I think the solution is boots. Really, really high boots. This town has gone to hell.