Saturday, April 05, 2014

BOE To Adopt Budget Tuesday


BOE Meeting, Tuesday April 8 @6:30PM

It is anticipated that the BOE will go into an Exec. Session at 5:30PM to discuss collective bargaining, the employment history of particular person(s) & pending litigation.


AGENDA ITEMS of NOTE


Budget Presentation

Transportation Dept. Reorganization

Teamster's Contract & Financial Impact

Budget Adoption

Property Tax Report Card Adoption

Revised Budget Calendar 2014

 
SCATS ~~ Does this mean bye, bye to the D&C, Greece Post, etc. so that no one will Know when GCSD plans things like votes, takes bids on contracts, seeks to hire, etc? 
 

22 comments:

Charlie Hubbard said...

Enough with the state mandate excuse for increase spending.
Identify the mandate - put a dollar figure to it - and what you have done 'so far' to correct it - then maybe you can get some help from the community to correct the problem.

SCATS said...

To Charlie ~~ Also, they will use our increased assessments by the Town of Greece to promote the fact the TAX RATES are down this year. I'm sure they will make it sound like they are giving us one heck of a deal!

In reality, they should be in the process of closing another 1-2 buildings! Enrollment is down to a little over 11,000 students. Their "predictions" for any increases just haven't been the reality, as usual.

Anonymous said...

I will continue to vote no on every budget until they stop the insane amount of busing that has been taking place inspite of drastic lower enrollment figures
I drove bus when we had 15,000 plus students and 165 buses and runs That caused an expansion to 200 buses and as many runs. Now we have less than 12,000 and guess what? Yep! We still operate 200 buses and as many runs as we did with 15,000 enrollment, Something is really wrong with this picture.
Until they end the totally unnecessary secondary option, what's left of schools of choice and bring the walking distance within the State Guide Lines, 10 mil plus for busing will continue to be out if sight.
Now they will have you believe that this amount is offset by state aide. Bull Crap. Even it was so, what is state aid , money from heaven. It's our state tax dollars. The fact is, that because we literally bus kids from around the corner from the school and all over town for secondary option and Sof C , the state reimburses Greece accordingly to the tune of 70% or less rather than the normal amount and not paid back until the following year.
These folks need a reality check. No votes on the budget and no votes on new bus purchases.
By the way, stand bye. Sometime later this year, they plan to float another one of this CIP's.to finish the work not completed in the 2000 CIP thanks to Walts inc.
Maybe they'll get the message but somehow I doubt it.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely, SCATS. The cost of the contract is impossible to sustain with the increases in health care and retirement each year. Only answer is to cut staff to a level similar to when we had 13,000+ students. That means closing schools, consolidating the students into the remaining ones and getting costs under control.
That takes courage and an ability to do the right thing - something no one on the school board seems able to find.

SCATS said...

To 2:23PM ~~ I would add that another step they need to make is the BOE needs to get the cost under control for transporting every child to every sitter in Town! We can't be all things to all people.

To 8:19PM ~~ 13,000 students?? We've barely got 11,000 now!

Anonymous said...

How about starting the cuts from the top. Cuts should begin as far away from the classroom as possible!! I know that I may be showing my age, but in the days of Ray Page's superintendency there was a skeletal crew in DO and yet the district's students had good results and we were far from being ranked at the bottom or nearly at the bottom in comparison to other districts. Really how many deputy superintendents and assistant superintendents does one district need! How many coordinators and other invented titles does this district need! Talk about saving money. Without their high salaries, medical expenses and perks, we would save a boatload. How about the lifetime healthcare give aways. No district does that. So before you go giving away our children's teachers and school admins, start at the disproportionately BLOATED district office. During Ray Page's rein things ran much better and the powers that be were highly accessible. Today you have an easier time getting a seating with the pope!

SCATS said...

To 9:29PM ~~ The reason we have all these extraneous DO people is to protect Babs from ever having to be responsible, make a statement in times of crisi, etc. The cost is high, but damn well worth it in her mind.

As for Ray Page, he thought he was the pope! AND he was accessible if he wanted to be ... to keep control, period.

Anonymous said...

Hi, SCATS, it's me. I was 8:19. I meant cur staff to a level of the ratio (teachers/ pupils) we had when we had 13000+ students.
Sorry for the confusion

Anonymous said...

9:29 You must not be as old as me. Ray Page inherited the slashed bureaucracy from John Yagielski. Then JY left to avoid the heat from the new ratio on the board. Results are worse now in Greece as well as all the other districts in NY state. We have a finite amount of revenue to support the schools. The costs of staff and pensions keep rising. The amount going to the students in the form of books and supplies and infrastructure upkeep has to be lowered to keep the union contract obligations. They take priority.
And if we could get taxes from the businesses that have abatements and PILOTs and comida perks we would be doing better. And the shell game of STAR is just hiding the problem. And if we stray from the topic which is local and schools we could see that the state is not able to keep our roads and bridges safe. Again we have unions and pension accounts to blame. What was the first thing Kodak did when they were whining about protection under bankruptcy? Getting rid of "legacy" costs. Once they did that they are back in business. The state cannot do that. We are sunk.

SCATS said...

To 7:23AM ~~ Ahhh, now that makes sense! Which also means it probaly won't happen ;)

To 9:15AM ~~ STAR created its own set of problems ... which I believe was partially the intent of it anyway. It keeps the seniors away from the polls, doesn't it? AND its created a large number of folks who pay ZERO SCHOOL TAXES.

Anonymous said...

Teacher, driver, janitorial and other contracts dictate salaries, benefits but they do not dictate number sof employees. The number of drivers and janiros and admin can be reduced by closing schools and eliminating the babysitting runs. We have to r educe the cost and that is about the only way to get the cost under control.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised the save the planet clan are not speaking up about the amount of bussing being done.

SCATS said...

To 7:45PM ~~ They are so used to giving the kids the shaft on everything from course offerings to textbooks just to save how they service the elite in Greece. I think things would change damned fast if the teachers had to live in town.

To 9:16PM ~~ The faster enrollments fall, the more new buses we purchase.

Anonymous said...

And yet still no SCAT's endorsed candidates run for the school board. Perhaps you can find someone named Anonymous to run?

SCATS said...

To 4:46AM ~~ What do you mean by "yet still"? I never promised to run anyone for Greece BOE. In fact, I've been asked to run several times in the past. It would be an exercise in futility ... on a good day! As I've repeatedly stated, it takes FIVE VOTES on the BOE to accomplish anything. Only three candidates run at a time, so it would take at least 2-3 years to get that many elected. By the time five people of like mind were sitting on the BOE, the first elected will be up for re-election with little to no record of "accomplishment" to promote. By then, they will probably have become part of the problem. Just look at "Mr. Chump Change", Frank Oberg!

As Joe Moscato demonstrated for everyone, you can have more impact off the BOE than on it where they will use every trick in the policy book and Robert's Rules to try to control you and the info made available to you.

I learned long ago that they listen better to a critical voice that gets media attention :)

Anonymous said...

7:45. That might be true about all but the teachers. When there are a certain number of students, there are a certain number of teachers. There is a class size restriction in their contract. That can only change with a new contract that increases the class size which would decrease the number of teachers.
Also there are certain areas where teachers could be eliminated such as PE, counselors, librarians, art, music at the k-6 level. They would never do that because of the uproar, but it is not state mandated that each of those classes be taught by a teacher specific to that discipline. Just as the elementary teachers give instruction in health and math and reading and social studies, it would be ok at the state level for them to teach those other mentioned subjects. You don't think the elementary teachers are math or sociology or health or literature scholars. The "specials" are divided as they are for years to cover the contracted "prep time" of the elementary teachers. Paraprofessionals could cover that coffee break time as they already do during some library time during the week.
So as far as cutting back on teachers' staffing numbers, that can only be done with lots of re-organization and change of mind-set.
You are right on about the other staff. Cut down on bus runs. Stop bussing to babysitters. All we are mandated is to have a district counselor with a program. Same for district librarian. Do we need psychologists at every high school? Do we need vice principals for each grade level? We probably need full security and cafeteria staff considering crowd control issues.
And a big way of cutting down costs would be to eliminate students that really don't live in Greece. But then we are back to the numbers game of upping the staff with the extra students. Vicious circle.

Anonymous said...

It might take five votes to pass a resolution but it only takes one member of the board to open things up. That is true for the school or the town board. Is anyone willing to be that one person?

SCATS said...

To 7:42AM ~~ You forgot one VERY IMPORTANT number related to the number of teachers we employ: SPECIAL ED ENROLLMENTS. Over the last 10-15 years, enrollment has fallen to just about 11,000 students (from around 15,000, as I recall), but the number of teachers hasn't come close to falling in proportion because of Special Ed increases.

I agree that ousting the illegals who are stealing services could save us a bundle. It would also make our schools MUCH safer! I don't see anyone with the GUTS to even discuss the topic in Greece.

To 9:20AM ~~ I look at it this way: they ran Moscato off the board with the Robert's Rules/policy game; they stonewalled Hubbard until his time was up; they wooed Oberg into submission; they got O'Toole to STOP asking questions in public. Given that history, would YOU want to deal with being the lone voice of reason among the maddening throng at the board table??

Anonymous said...

It is just a matter of not caring if you are invited to lunch by the rest of the board. The transparency comes with info being given to the public instead of waiting until the meetings. When those 2 were on the board things were better than now. There is no one on the board now that is doing anything more than showing up for meetings and voting along with the wishes of the superintendent. Token board. They could phone the meetings in. Ditto for the town board. If that's what makes the community happy then so be it. It's not like there was a hostile take-over. They were all voted in. And I would never be on a school board whether I was part of a majority or the lone wolf. Let others work for free to feel like they are contributing or to look good.There is so much that is dictated by the union contracts and the state mandates that there is nothing to vote about. The board might as well be a committee of 5. The only action that happens is when you have a situation where they want a super to leave and they have to force the issue and consult the attorneys on their own. In other words rarely.

SCATS said...

To 3:46PM ~~ I agree with most of what you said. Yes, lots is dictated, BUT looking for new ways to do business or cut costs NEVER seems to come up for discussion. They spend more time belly-aching about mandates than questioning the need to keep the current number of buildings open, or buses running. In the past, they spent thousands on lawyer fees just trying to get Joe Moscato to shut-up.

Yes, we could live just fine with only 5 BOE members. They will never allow it though, because that could provide the possibility for "a hostile takeover." They won't risk that ;)

Anonymous said...

BTW...now the communicty can have input on the next Principal for Odyssey.

http://www.greece.k12.ny.us/news.cfm?story=1437

SCATS said...

To 9:20AM ~~ TY :)