Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dear Babs ...


 Tom Kackmeister said...*

New subject: Having received my GCSD budget letter in the mail I sent the following to the superintendent in hopes of gaining additional insight.

" I received the budget edition of Connection. Thank you.

A couple of questions re content:

1. Page one references the 5 year strategic plan. Specifically mentioned is the following: "Our success will be measured by metrics and performance indicators." I searched the document and could find no references to how we/you are doing in achieving those successes? Any insight would be appreciated.

2. I found several references which measured year to year changes in various categories. However I found no reference to student population changes over the last several years. Was that an error of omission or an error of commission? It seems to me that would be very important data to judge the year to year changes in the budget. Would you please supply that data?

Please forward this to any on your staff that you feel would be qualified to answer these concerns.

Thank you in advance for your prompt reply.

Tom Kackmeister   5/13/2014 8:52 AM
 

* Edited for typos
 
SCATS ~~ Very good questions! I was certainly wondering why the impact of continued declining student enrollments is NEVER mentioned as it relates to the budget.
 
 

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Scats, can you please explain the figure that is under the "Cuomo Tax limit"? Is it the total expenditure, or is it the actual tax a person pays, or is it just the tax rate that is frozen? Each of these numbers seem to move independently depending on carryover, or total assessment, or perhaps the phase of the moon. I need help in understanding what the law was supposed to do. Thanks.

SCATS said...

To 5:47PM ~~ I think you might need to call Mr. Cuomo himself. I agree ... it seems to be a moving target!

Anonymous said...

Kackster, you are on her short list of DO NOT RESPOND TO FOLKS. Just vote no as usual, pay your taxes and get a life.

SCATS said...

To 6:29PM ~~ SHORT LIST??? Tell me ANYONE who is on her list "to call"???

Anonymous said...

You certainly are on the list. Near the bottom but there.

Charlie Hubbard said...

to 6:29 (anonymous)
Is the 'cost per student' not important? Without the enrollment figures one cannot get the cost per student.
One of the reasons public education in N.Y.S. has become the laughing stock it has is because residents do 'not' ask. Is it wrong for taxpayers to question anything? I will tell you in no uncertain terms - if you think the public education monopoly is going to improve via more $$$ alone without accountability - you are a fool.

SCATS said...

To 5:06AM ~~ I think she lost my number ... conveniently, I might add ;)

To Charlie ~~ Just an FYI Re: enrollments - the most recent "current" figure I've seen is 11,200.

Anonymous said...

Like the assessments, the number of students is beyond GCSD control. They just seem to be able to benefit from them both!

PS: Wanna be the first to spend over $20K per pupil???

Charlie Hubbard said...

Scats; assuming the 11,200 enrollment figure is correct - we know the plan is to increase spending by over $4.6 MILLION. We are supposed to feel good about that because as described on page 6 the true tax rate is midrange for the county so it must be ok. I am very disappointed that we continue to publish this puff BS type copy of the Connection on the taxpayers dime.
I readily admit this budget will NOT get my vote - the reason - CONTRACTS. The board is NOT following their own policies on contract (this is where the cost IS and the quality IS NOT)approval assuring contracts will continue to be worthless, do/nothing, give/aways. Educational improvements continue to be a wish list with NO consequences ($$) for goals not met.
It's business as usual at GCSD just with a higher price tag.

SCATS said...

Charlie ~~ I agree! On top of that, despite the continued loss of students, the number of employees remains relatively high, especially teachers & administrators.

SCATS DOES NOT SUPPORT EITHER THE BUDGET or THE BUS PROPOSITION.

Tom Kackmeister said...

FYI: Here is the quick response link the district gave me in reply to my questions. Have not tried to dig out the answers. If you find the answers before I have a chance to do a search, please pass that info along here. Thanks.

"Dear Mr. Kackmeister
Attached are links to the data as requested. Please let us know if you have additional questions."

http://www.greece.k12.ny.us/district.cfm?subpage=43238

SCATS said...

To Tom ~~ I find that link to be a slap in the face, instead of any sort of honest response to what appear to be specific questions! We shouldn't have to mine for the info. MAYBE they don't actually have an answer to your questions ;)

Anonymous said...

Charlie, less tha n 10 yrs ago it was roughly $14,000 / student. I doubt due to normal inflationary costs it's gone down.

Anonymous said...

To Charlie Can you tell me if the policy you refer to regarding CONTRACTS is in written form and what the number is. The reason I ask, I would like to file a foil to get a copy but if it's not written, I don't want to waste my time.

SCATS said...

To 1:41PM ~~ I am not certain of the CURRENT $$/student cost, but I am aware it is well in excess of $17,000/student and has been for at least several years.

Anonymous said...

6431 Employee Contracts and Addendums. And you don't have to FOIL policies they are on the Board's BoardDoc's website.

SCATS said...

To 4:04PM ~~ Be very careful with policies posted to Board Docs. Often they are WAAAAAAY out of date.

Anonymous said...

I tried that scats but I couldn't find one that Mr Hubbard was referring to. I was hoping he could tell me what to look for and where. I understand that not all policies are exact in their content, maybe it was there and I some how didn't see it.

Charlie Hubbard said...

to 2:42 (anonymous)
policy 6431 and it's on line

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

after reading the policy, it appears to me that if the board is responsible to make policy it would only follow that they also have an obligation to see that the administration follows and enforces these policies. I think we need a new board. Or better yet, abolish the need for a board entirely I don't think we'd be missing much.

SCATS said...

To 6:29PM ~~ The BOE took oathes pledging that they would uphold the US & NY State Constitutions, our laws, their policies, etc. Each BOE member is almost immediately coerced into signing a "code of ethics," also as per policy. After that, they do as they like, breaking laws and policy.

Perhaps we should start by at least scaling back the BOE to 5 people.

Anonymous said...

He learned how to drive by watching you and 99 % of all Greece drivers habits. Such hypocracy !

SCATS said...

To 10:41AM ~~ I can assure you that I'm not one of his mentors, otherwise he'd be driving quite well, as I've NEVER BEEN TICKETED :)

Btw, "hypocracy" isn't in my dictionary.

Anonymous said...

What is the process for changing the board to a 5 member board?

SCATS said...

To 3:46AM ~~ Great question! I know I looked into this once long ago. It's not easy, but it can be done. I'd have to research it again, so if anyone knows off the top of their head, feel free to enlighten us.

SCATS said...

To 3:46AM ~~ Thanks to a helper, the following info has been found on this subject:

http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/EDN/II/51/2502

"4. a. Each board of education may upon its own motion, and shall upon a written petition, subscribed by not less than five hundred qualified voters of the district, cause to be submitted at the annual school election a proposition to increase or decrease the number of members of such board to a number specified in subdivision two of this section; or a proposition to increase or decrease the term of office of members of the board of education in accordance with subdivision three of this section."