19% school tax hike
Appleknocker

Port Henry, NY

#41 Apr 10, 2013
What people tend to forget is that St. Mary's is a private school and is NOT obligated to take everyone the way public schools are. Most of the cost of special education, i.e. aides, etc. is legally mandated, not optional. St. Mary's is not obligated to take special ed. students, discipline problems, etc. if they choose not to.
Willis

Earlville, NY

#42 Apr 10, 2013
That's ok they will just pork the lake people like they always do. Most of the locals who use the services pay a minimum.
Info-411

Crown Point, NY

#43 Apr 10, 2013
Ticonderoga school’s options range from bad to very bad

TICONDEROGA -- In Ticonderoga, the school district’s goal is to propose a budget without exceeding the tax cap.
For that to happen, the district must cut more than $500,000, and the options include eliminating jobs and the entire sports program.
But before decisions are made, district officials want to discuss the budget with the public at a meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. April 16 in Hague Community Center.
The school board has yet to settle on a tax levy increase, but is unanimous that it must stay below the state’s property tax cap.
The tax cap differs by district. In Ticonderoga, the cap is 3.78 percent.
At recent budget meetings, audience members have asked the school board to avoid program cuts by exceeding the cap. To exceed the cap, a budget must be approved by at least a 60 percent majority.
In other districts such as Warrensburg, Newcomb and Minerva, officials are seeking to exceed their caps to maintain programs.
In Ticonderoga, the budget has been voted down twice in the last five years, and even budgets that passed did so by narrow margins. One budget was approved by three votes.
Given this history, school officials say it’s unrealistic to expect voters to support overriding the cap.
“We don’t feel we would have the support of a supermajority of 60 percent if we went over,” said Frederick LaVallie, school board president.
LaVallie said the board keeps students and programs in mind, but must also be responsible to taxpayers.
To stay below the cap, Ticonderoga has to cut $540,000 from the 2013-14 budget.
The district will receive a $240,000 increase in state aid — an importance source of revenue — but that is not enough to avoid cuts.
The district has created three scenarios to reduce spending. Scenario No. 1 eliminates all sports or all extra-curricular programs, and cut 15 jobs, a mix of full-time and part-time positions.
Scenario No. 2 cuts some athletic and extra-curricular programs and 18 positions.
Scenario No. 3 eliminates junior varsity sports and possibly other athletic programs, reduces extracurricular options and eliminates 20 positions.
Superintendent John McDonald said none of the options is ideal. But after reducing expenses over the last few years, Ticonderoga is left only now with areas that are not mandated, such as art, music, foreign language and athletics.
“There is no other area to cut,” McDonald said.“We are bare bones as it is.”
The proposed budget is $18.6 million, an increase of $760,000 or 4.2 percent over this year’s spending plan.
School districts across New York have faced financial trouble since 2009, with expenses rising and revenue dwindling. They have been forced to respond by cutting spending and exhausting savings.
In Ticonderoga, the problem is made worse by the district’s lack of savings and location in a community without resources to pay more in school taxes.
About 65 percent of the district’s 840 students qualify for a free or reduced price meal.
But Ticonderoga also has valuable lakefront properties, making the district appear wealthier than it is, LaVallie said. As a result, the district doesn’t receive as much state aid as it should, he said.
Property wealth is one factor the state uses to determine how much state aid goes to a district.
For the last three years, Ticonderoga employees have made concessions, including accepting pay freezes, to help the district.
The cost of pensions is going up $460,000 over the prior year. The district’s contribution to the state’s teachers retirement system is rising 37 percent.
This year, school districts have the option to enter a seven-year “stabilization” plan to pay for TRS pensions. Over that time, districts pay a fixed rate. The rate is lower for the first two years, providing immediate savings for districts, but it rises toward the end of the plan.
McDonald said the district will use the pension stabilization plan, which saves the district $190,000 next year.
Info-411

Crown Point, NY

#44 Apr 10, 2013
Above post is from the post-star paper today. http://poststar.com/news/local/ticonderoga-sc...
Somebody knows the Truth

San Diego, CA

#45 Apr 10, 2013
The point is that not ALL aides are dedicated (hired for) special ed. services. They are hired and retained to maintain order. What's wrong with THAT PICTURE??

Why do you think that the teachers gave up raises to keep the aides? Because they CANNOT even begin to control some of those kids (too many) without an extra person.) And yet, some how, 30 years ago or so, teachers controlled their classrooms themselves. Hmmm...
Appleknocker wrote:
What people tend to forget is that St. Mary's is a private school and is NOT obligated to take everyone the way public schools are. Most of the cost of special education, i.e. aides, etc. is legally mandated, not optional. St. Mary's is not obligated to take special ed. students, discipline problems, etc. if they choose not to.
Qualified consultants

Ticonderoga, NY

#46 Apr 10, 2013
They should hire a behavioral consultant to train aides and consult with teachers. Many schools across the nation are now doing this. Consultants are contracted for a few days a month. they come in and observe the student and give great strategies to use. they are also available by email 24/7. It is a great cost saving measure. They are specifically trained in behavior management. A real professional makes a big difference. The bottom line would be fewer aides needed because bad behavior has decreased.
broke

Ticonderoga, NY

#47 Apr 10, 2013
Qualified consultants wrote:
They should hire a behavioral consultant to train aides and consult with teachers. Many schools across the nation are now doing this. Consultants are contracted for a few days a month. they come in and observe the student and give great strategies to use. they are also available by email 24/7. It is a great cost saving measure. They are specifically trained in behavior management. A real professional makes a big difference. The bottom line would be fewer aides needed because bad behavior has decreased.
They did not need "behavioral consultants" when I was in school disruptive students were addressed early in their educational careers, typically they conformed to policy.Kids that were given "time-outs" instead of a little backside paddling are the same kids shooting people these days.If a child cannot conform to an acceptable standard of behavior then for the good of the children that want to learn the offender ought be removed from school,Farm labor is not just for migrant workers,If someone does not wish to learn,then I am against wasting money and resources on someone better suited to picking fruit.
when I was in school

Ticonderoga, NY

#48 Apr 10, 2013
The "When I was in school" argument is pointless because the family structure is not what it was then. If a kid got in trouble in school he knew he was in far worse trouble at home. Now, parents do not even attend parent-teacher conferences. Now, if a kid gets in trouble in school parents are working against the school, not with it. Of course some parents do attend conferences and open houses but their kids are getting good grades and not getting in trouble. There is a connection to parent involvement and success in school. Always has been, always will be. If your kid says they have no homework they are lying. Every kid has something to do each night even if it is only a half hour. If there book bag sits by the back door or in the car or worse yet does not even come home don't be surprised when they do not pass everything. Working is not an excuse for not having time to be involved. They are your children. You have a responsibility to raise them not complain about how the school is not doing enough.
MrChing

Endicott, NY

#49 Apr 11, 2013
Vladimir Obama proposes a 95 cents a pack increase in federal taxes on cigarettes to pay for preschool for 3 year olds. The teachers union will beef up over that and many of the children, after 2 years of preschool and 2 years of regular school will have learned how to spell their name derived from Scrabble pieces.
By age 10 they will be told by their parents "Honey child, you don't need no school 'cause the gobmint will gibs you housing, free food, free medical and everthang. You can't work 'cause you have anxiety and you can't read."
Sad

Pittsfield, MA

#50 Apr 11, 2013
It is a shame 'the right thing' has not been done the past 4-5 years and as always it is coming to a head! Other schools did, not us! Other schools are dealing with less aid and making difficult choices/cuts, we have deferred that until now.
Not Pointless

Burlington, VT

#51 Apr 11, 2013
"When I was in school..." is NOT a pointless argument at all! Yes, our society is definitely in a downward spiral. And yes, there is less parental involvement.(Although, I *know* that there is less parental involvement in THIS particular school district because there is a great animosity and lack of trust between the taxpayer/parents and the school district--food for thought.)

This is what some districts do. After taking steps to work with problem students, they move them into special programs. Away from the students who aren't disrupting the classroom. In some districts, this is a separate building. There are procedures for making this happen that are carefully design and implemented and are lawful.

Does this cost money? Yes. BUT, there is no need for aides that are not directly serving students with an IEP (spec. ed.)! The students who want to learn can!(Very, very important.) And the faculty/staff who work with the students with behavioral problems are educated and trained to work with these students and address their problems.(Many of these students drop out at some point, often when their age allows them to by law.) In the meantime, these student ARE held accountable for their behavior, there is no "smoothing over," no "sugarcoating," AND PARENTS ARE REQUIRED to participate in their child's program. Ah ha...
when I was in school wrote:
The "When I was in school" argument is pointless because the family structure is not what it was then.
Please

Port Henry, NY

#52 Apr 11, 2013
Not Pointless wrote:
"When I was in school..." is NOT a pointless argument at all! Yes, our society is definitely in a downward spiral. And yes, there is less parental involvement.(Although, I *know* that there is less parental involvement in THIS particular school district because there is a great animosity and lack of trust between the taxpayer/parents and the school district--food for thought.)
This is what some districts do. After taking steps to work with problem students, they move them into special programs. Away from the students who aren't disrupting the classroom. In some districts, this is a separate building. There are procedures for making this happen that are carefully design and implemented and are lawful.
Does this cost money? Yes. BUT, there is no need for aides that are not directly serving students with an IEP (spec. ed.)! The students who want to learn can!(Very, very important.) And the faculty/staff who work with the students with behavioral problems are educated and trained to work with these students and address their problems.(Many of these students drop out at some point, often when their age allows them to by law.) In the meantime, these student ARE held accountable for their behavior, there is no "smoothing over," no "sugarcoating," AND PARENTS ARE REQUIRED to participate in their child's program. Ah ha...
<quoted text>
Do you have any idea of the added costs to send children to a separate building? Do you not realize many districts are now not sending students to BOCES as a cost savings measure.
Money not well spent

Ticonderoga, NY

#53 Apr 11, 2013
Please wrote:
<quoted text>Do you have any idea of the added costs to send children to a separate building? Do you not realize many districts are now not sending students to BOCES as a cost savings measure.
If the district decides not to send the students they need to realize they need to meet the needs of those children. Staff must have the training before children are brought back to the district.
retired

Ticonderoga, NY

#54 Apr 11, 2013
It use to cost $35K per child depending on program some were more. Then there were children who didn't go because they choose to skip school and our district didn't step on them or do anything about it, so your tax money paid for services that were not being used. One child missed over half the year before finally quitting and again....your taxes paid for services that were not rendered. Our system is not a good one for keeping up with the money being spent for these services and if they are actually being done, or if they are actually making any improvement in the Childs life.
Wondering

Ticonderoga, NY

#55 Apr 11, 2013
How is it that those brought to our faculty on a grant remain after the grant is done? Oh, that's right. Re-label a position of a retiree (no one will notice) and fill it with said faculty member. We can pay him to get qualified in said area of expertise while here on grant $.... or not, if it isn't a priority..
And what is the pay for THIS position????
Cry

Crown Point, NY

#56 Apr 11, 2013
Everyday prices seem to go up, the teacher have to teacher your kid something. If you don't want them to live off of welfare like your self, you won't complain when the state and the working people pay it for you haha. Thanks deadbeats
Tom Morrow

Hudson, NY

#57 Apr 11, 2013
Not Pointless wrote:
"When I was in school..." is NOT a pointless argument at all! Yes, our society is definitely in a downward spiral. And yes, there is less parental involvement.(Although, I *know* that there is less parental involvement in THIS particular school district because there is a great animosity and lack of trust between the taxpayer/parents and the school district--food for thought.)
This is what some districts do. After taking steps to work with problem students, they move them into special programs. Away from the students who aren't disrupting the classroom. In some districts, this is a separate building. There are procedures for making this happen that are carefully design and implemented and are lawful.
Does this cost money? Yes. BUT, there is no need for aides that are not directly serving students with an IEP (spec. ed.)! The students who want to learn can!(Very, very important.) And the faculty/staff who work with the students with behavioral problems are educated and trained to work with these students and address their problems.(Many of these students drop out at some point, often when their age allows them to by law.) In the meantime, these student ARE held accountable for their behavior, there is no "smoothing over," no "sugarcoating," AND PARENTS ARE REQUIRED to participate in their child's program. Ah ha...
<quoted text>
Even if the parents choose not to be directly involved in the workings of the school they could at least take a proactive approach and work with their kids at home. Not being happy with the school is no reason not to make sure you kid is doing his homework, keeping up with classwork and not causing problems in class. Is school fun? Not all the time. Do you need to suck it up and do you work and behave yourself even when you don't want to? Yes. Do parents need to play an active role in making sure their kid if doing these things? Absolutely.

As far as moving behavior problems, the school received a grant this year to start an alternative high school to help deal with some of these issues. I seem to remember the article I read stating that teachers who are already employed by the district are teaching this smaller group of kids who had some issues at the high school. I know I saw an article about this, but I can't remember where so I don't know exact details beyond these, but it seems to me like they are trying to solve some of these issues.
What happened to

San Diego, CA

#58 Apr 12, 2013
What happened to special facilities (used to be called "juvenile hall") that were funded by the STATE?? Kids that were out of control were given all their opportunities and chances and then removed from the district.(Like removing the bad apples.)

If the teachers that are already employed at the school are not specifically trained to work with kids who have behavioral problems, then it is just ANOTHER waste of money.

Personally, I don't believe this district has faculty that is specifically or ADEQUATELY trained to work with these kids. And, I don't think the taxpayers of this community, or any community, should foot the bill to faculty members back to school to train them!

So, square one. Let's revisit the idea of special, state funded facilities.
Tom Morrow wrote:
<quoted text>
Even if the parents choose not to be directly involved in the workings of the school they could at least take a proactive approach and work with their kids at home. Not being happy with the school is no reason not to make sure you kid is doing his homework, keeping up with classwork and not causing problems in class. Is school fun? Not all the time. Do you need to suck it up and do you work and behave yourself even when you don't want to? Yes. Do parents need to play an active role in making sure their kid if doing these things? Absolutely.
As far as moving behavior problems, the school received a grant this year to start an alternative high school to help deal with some of these issues. I seem to remember the article I read stating that teachers who are already employed by the district are teaching this smaller group of kids who had some issues at the high school. I know I saw an article about this, but I can't remember where so I don't know exact details beyond these, but it seems to me like they are trying to solve some of these issues.
Sad

Pittsfield, MA

#59 Apr 12, 2013
Is anyone else hearing either a double digit raise for teachers etal or very close! Can anyone confirm or deny this?$19,000,000 budget and as usual they are hammering on sports/kids programs etc. at the $500,000. or so mark. Ever try to follow a school board meeting on line, I can't understand a thing they are saying. Same as the town board meetings! Coincidence???
paycut

Sannois, France

#60 Apr 12, 2013
simple solution to all this---- CUT the pay of the highly paid administrators and teachers... this will save jobs-- save sports and other services for the kid! its called PAY CUT. if they all really CARE about your kids this is what they will do.. if they care about their pocket books -- then say goodbye to some good people and extracurricular for the kids. its that simple folks.

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