Tuesday, June 08, 2010

BOE Meeting Highlights ...

  
GTA Comments ~~ Pres. Don Pallozzi failed to mention anything about moving towards a new contract which pretty much confirms the "deal" is ready to go!

Budget Adopted ~~ By a vote of 7 to 0 the BOE voted to adopt a $193.66 million contingency budget that will cost taxpayers $22.55/$1000 of assessed value.

Longridge & Odyssey School Improvement Plans ~~ Over 1.5 hrs of droning presentations that the BOE has no need to hear! Instead of falling asleep, I turned on the TV to watch several episodes of Billy the Exterminator. Did you know that brown widow spiders carry a bite similar to the black widow's?

Longridge School Reorganization Adopted! ~~ The BOE discovered that NO STUDY IS REQUIRED to reorganize a school! On a vote of 7 to 1, the BOE agreed to reorganize Longridge into two schools within a school  - one with a pre-K to grade 2 structure and the other with a grades 3 to 5 structure. The schools will have one principal each and share a VP. They will partner with Greece police and social support services to try to impact home environments. The additional cost is $8900. "The school board doesn't need to know every single detail about how this is going to work ... leave it to the professionals." ~~ Roger Boily

SCATS ~~ I hope Roger & the rest of the BOE remember how EASY IT IS to reorganize when it comes time to shut down West Ridge!

Supt. Achramovitch's goodbye included: "We are much better off than we were 3+ years ago."
   

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm certainly better off than I was 3 years ago, thank you.
-A

Anonymous said...

I am too, but there's something special about the good ol' days that I miss from time to time.
-C

Charlie Hubbard said...

A contingency budget is such an insult to the community. All responsible should hang their heads in shame.
To levy tax increases on the community 'over the express wishes' of the community truly sickens me. These people 'truly' think you are too stupid to know whats good for you and THAT should scare the he## out of us all.
It's looking more like Mayor Duffy knew and saw what school board(s) have become.

Anonymous said...

The so-called cuts in the budget are not real cuts. The capital spending, if really justified in the original budget, is for needed improvements and changes,and will appear in a subsequent budget proposal. If it is cost justified, then it should be done.
Real cuts are sustainable cuts that do not appear in later budgets. One example would be in the Long Ridge change: why not ONE principal and two VPs, instead of TWO principals and one VP? It's a small difference, but should save costs. Besides, which principal decides when they don't agree on building changes?
Another change that could be permanent is to move back to the number of teachers required to maintain the student/teacher ratio we had in 2000-01. At that time, we had more students and fewer teachers. Why have we added teachers as our student population has dropped?

SCATS said...

To Charlie ~~ I'm not "scared the hell" ... I'm mad as hell! Regarding Duffy: some believe the unions got him summoned to Albany for a campaign to get him out of their hair about mayoral control. In other words, it was getting TOO warm for the teachers ;)



To 7:38AM ~~ I agree with your point about sustainable cuts. FYI, Longridge currently has one principal & 2 VPs I think. The number of teachers is huge these days, especially compared to 10 yrs. ago. I hear the excuse that's used for it is the result of the Special Education parents who sued the district after Walts decimated the district before leaving.

Anonymous said...

Can you explain why/how it is that Longridge will be two schools yet still under one roof? Will it be in name only, just cost more, what? And what is the reason for doing it? Thanks

SCATS said...

To 8:59AM ~~ My understanding is that it is a reorganizational move and yes, it will remain under one roof. Based upon the numbers I heard their school improvement team report (before I couldn't stand listening any longer), the number of out-of-school suspensions, unexcused absences, unexcused tardy students, etc. has grown phenomenally from last year to this year. Discipline issues are requiring more and more resources for their 800+ students. They want to bring in the equivalent of a school resource officer (and you thought we just eliminated them under this budget, didn't you?) and social support services in an attempt "to impact the home environment" of the students.

Put into plain English, Longridge is evidence that the South-Eastern quadrant of Greece has/is becoming "ghetto" just like many within the Northgate Neighborhood Group have maintained. Please don't tell Uncle Auggie about it though. He's very busy following the Republicans on the campaign trail & can't be bothered dealing with the deterioration of a huge portion of this town. Stay tuned folks!

george hubbard said...

1. Yes, “The school board doesn’t need to know every single detail about HOW this is going to work...” But, BOE should know HOW WELL this is expected to work.

Ques: Did BOE set measureable, multi-year (student educational and other) goals and objectives... with a timeline for status reports... before they approved the organizational change at Longridge School?
.

george hubbard said...

For post 9:51AM,

measureable = measurable
.

Anonymous said...

George: answer to question is: No!

Thought you would like to know!

george hubbard said...

To: SCATS

1. You report, “The additional cost is $8,900.”... for the organizational change at Longridge School.

2. This change creates two school units (grades PK – 2, and 3 – 5) in one school building... and there will be two principals where there had been one.

3. Added cost of $8,900 for one additional principal is suspect... leaves much unsaid.

4. If “x” = cost before... and “y” = cost after changes at Longridge, then difference, y – x = $8.9K.

SCATS, is there more info about values for x... and y... and the items of cost they represent?
.

SCATS said...

To Geo ~~ You'll have to ask a BOE member or Steve, because all I know is what they said at the meeting.

Anonymous said...

I know the extra cost of re-organization is small, but didn't the review of the GCSD indicate that ALL cost increases had to show an educational benefit? If so, what is he alleged benefit here and when will we know if it is a success? If it isn't a success, what is the exit strategy?

Anonymous said...

Would it surprise anyone to learn that Deb Hoeft was financially rewarded (exceeding expectation pay raises) for reducing the number of classified students? I wonder...

Charlie Hubbard said...

to 2:19
Educational benefit???? Keep that in mind with upcoming contract approvals - good luck finding that 'educational benefit'.

Anonymous said...

Billy The Exterminator rocks man. See the one when he was cleaning out roaches and gets bit by a snake under a dresser? Kind of like this town. We're always getting bit by something.

SCATS said...

To 5:58PM ~~ Are you saying BOTH of those happened in the same house? Poor Billy!

Last night he was attempting to rid a trailer overrun by roaches ... they were so thick he used a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the scampering throngs before putting out the poison bait. Scenes like those leave me feeling itchy ...

georgehubbard said...

To: Post 7:38AM, thanks for posting.

1. You make very good points about phantom “budget cuts” to CAPITAL component of 2010-11 budget... especially for improvements that are cost justified.

2. This type of work does not go away when budgets are cut... the backlog just grows... and moves down the road.

3. To reinforce your point, here are the types of work covered by annual CAPITAL component funding:

a_Redesign loading dock________Arc
b_Install fire/smoke..._________Arc
c_Improve ventilation..._______Ody
d_Replace water lines__________Oly
e_Construct roof canopy________CrH
f_Bus lifts____________________Garage
g_Address fire breaches..._____Distr.

4. The split for these costs is approx. 20% local tax levy and 80% state aid. So when BOE ‘kicks the can down the road’ on necessary work, they leave state aid money on the table for other districts.

5. BOE kicked the can down the road to the tune of $4.5M+ (projects and replacement buses) going into 2010-11.

Thanks again 7:38AM.
.

Anonymous said...

Yep, a snake bite under the dresser but I was wrong about roaches. He was reaching for a mouse trap at the time so it was a mouse problem with a snake hiding away. I'm surprised the owner had a mouse problem with the snake hanging out unnoticed. Can't watch the spider eps. though. I start slapping at invisible things on me.

Anonymous said...

Well, George, a couple more years like this one where we remove the capital from the budget to "cut costs" and we can expect another special bond issue multimillion dollar Excel program. Wait! That euphemism for spending cuts and delayed maintenance has been used...How about CIP, Part II - The Sequel!
I wonder, do other districts hold off the capital programs until the wheels fall off and then lump it all together in a special program?
How much should we expect to be spending every year to keep things up?

Anonymous said...

From Comptroller's Audit:

"The District should ensure that changes to employment agreements and union contracts
have some benefit to the District before they are entered into."

Does not say educational benefit and does not say ALL cost increases.

http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/schools/2008/greece.pdf

Anonymous said...

5:53 ~ No, not when Greece spends $7,800 per general ed student and $23,000 per special ed student. Let's say just 10 students ended not getting classified: that's a savings of $152,000.
Not surprising in the least there'd be a bonus attached to that.

Charlie Hubbard said...

to 7:58 (anonymous)
With that kind of rational you could be a member of this school board.
I would be interested in knowing what you think it means.
I guess you are trying to make a point but have no idea what that point would be.

Anonymous said...

I am curious.....now that we know the BOE hids what they want the public to know....how long before we find out the true cost of renting the Kodak building for the summer? From what I am hearing, it was $50,000 to rent the space and that does not include anything. Much work has to be done to the building to get it ready for the third floor to move in. GCSD is left holding the bill for that as well! I still can't believe that we could not use one of our other buildings in the District as option for the summer.

SCATS said...

To 8:14AM ~~ That kind of topic would be an ideal subject for an investigative report. Sadly, we have no one in the area who would ever risk stepping on GCSD's toes to conduct one.

Anonymous said...

Charlie ~ The point was, and is, simply this: there's a financial rationale for the district to keep the number of special-ed classified students down. Special ed services are expensive. The cost for a special ed students is three times the cost for a gen ed student.

The question I answered was: "Would it surprise anyone to learn that Deb Hoeft was financially rewarded (exceeding expectation pay raises) for reducing the number of classified students? I wonder..."

My answer: No. I'm not surprised at all.

Anonymous said...

If a contract was drawn up with Kodak, shouldn't Laura Parcell, our District attorney, have reviewed it and included these costs in there? So much for capping our legal fees in Greece! What are we paying her for? Looks like we are headed in the wrong direction again.

SCATS said...

To 12:09PM ~~ Again? Or still?

Anonymous said...

You are right! We are STILL headed in the wrong direction! Why are we paying her anyway? Isn't she the queen of "I need and extension"?

Anonymous said...

To: Post 7:43PM... thanks for posting.

1. You make your points well... phantom “cuts” for CAPITAL in annual budgets... prevents paying cash for ‘cost justified’ projects. This leads to doing the same projects later... when the same projects cost more... and funding is done using debt (principal plus interest).

2. Consider that budget for DEBT SERVICE FUND has grown rapidly in GCSD: $4.1M in 2000-01... vs $14.2M in 2010-11... up $10.1M (+146%) in ten years.

3. Modifying the old Fram oil filter ad, ‘you can pay now, or you can pay later... at a higher price with interest’.
.

george hubbard said...

Anonymous 1:48PM = me... sorry about that!
.