#124 May 4, 2013
Overstaffed(for years)-Yes! Overspending(for years)-Yes! 10% raise(not easily found in budget but yes it is there)-Yes! Teachers raises would fund the programs being cut-Yes! Shame on you. I don't care you haven't had a raise in years-many of us haven't either. At nearly $50./ hour and up you are 'not' underpaid It's all about you! What are you going to cut next year when these programs are not there to cut? Veiled threats of always cutting sports etc. so you will get your way and parents will pass because of it is sickening! This school systems finances are a mess! It needs the overhaul it just hasn't been getting.
#125 May 4, 2013
What will they cut next year? Will it be the cafeteria or bus transportation? The board members are not taking the tough stance here. This is a very sad situation. I can see the teachers get richer and the children will get less and less education.
#126 May 4, 2013
Teachers got layoff slips this week. Hope everyone is happy.
#127 May 4, 2013
Have the layoffs been reported in the paper? Or on the District's website?
I don't think that anyone is happy. Certainly not everyone. But, let's see how things play out. Perhaps we have just cut some positions that we didn't really need in the first place.
Again, The *most important thing* is living within our means. This town is already in enough financial trouble.
#128 May 5, 2013
So the best solution is to cut staff and student's activities vs cutting benefits and cutting salaries?
Let's get real here.
#1 The administrators are way overpaid.#2 We should not be paying for anyone's education. Let alone the superintendent who is so feeble he cannot attain his degree!#3 Salaries of the teachers are WAY out of line-- again -$100K for a 5th grade teacher?? Come on!$90K for a gym teacher???? Oh I get it-- there is a new technique invented for kicking a ball and this person knows how to do that..! Someone please explain why these salaries are so high. This is NOT private industry. You are grabbing money from the taxpayers and throwing it away instead of using it effectively and efficiently. Times have changed and so must Ti School.
#129 May 5, 2013
#130 May 5, 2013
It's called being union and under contract.
#131 May 5, 2013
IF the State cut the P.E. requirement, or even if they cut it in half. we would only need a half-time position.
Call your Governor! And, good luck with that...
#132 May 5, 2013
It is a known fact that cutting down recess and the decrease of requirements for physical education in schools the rates of children being referred for hyperactivity issues and behavioral problems has increased.Children need the outlet of physical stimuli to "let off some steam" so that they can sit through the rest of the day in classrooms.
#133 May 5, 2013
For all the young children who have one assigned teacher (elementary school), let them go outside and play once a day for a period of time. Their teacher can supervise.(This is how it is done is many small private schools, and this is the way it was done anyway a few decades ago.)
For children who cannot control their behavior and need extra physical activity, have a p.e. aide or a special ed. aide take them outside.
This will still add up to a great deal less than paying...how many P.E. teachers are there?(Plus benefits.) We can better use those resources elsewhere.
#134 May 11, 2013
Congrats to the teachers for pulling off a 9 percent raise. This was in todays Press Republican. We cut services to many of the students programs so they could receive this raise. I for one am shocked and disgusted. To many on the board with family and friends on the payroll. I feel bad for the teachers that lost jobs because of greedy co workers. This is disgusting. You should all be ashamed of what you have done to this district. Well now some will have to earn their money with the aides and assistants gone.
#135 May 11, 2013
Disgusted, yes. Surprised? Never.
#136 May 12, 2013
If you teachers feel you are underpaid then go to another district. You are helping bankrupt this one and stealing from the kids! Shameful!
#137 May 12, 2013
They need to retire the older teachers and hire all younger, energetic, enthusiastic teachers. WITH NO TENURE!!!! If the parents want sports, let them coach. There are plenty of people that would volunteer.
#138 May 12, 2013
May 12, 2013
TICONDEROGA — Balancing the new Ticonderoga Central School budget means cutting 11 jobs and reducing hours for 12 more.
Superintendent John McDonald Jr. said that to close a $540,000 gap and keep the 2013-14 budget under the state tax-levy cap, the district is eliminating full-time math, science, English and teacher-aide positions, plus part-time English and driver’s education teachers and 4.5 teaching assistants.
Also, if voters OK the spending plan, another 12 positions will be reduced to part time: business, art, foreign language, guidance, home and careers, music, technology, English and math instructors and a computer aide and social worker.
The action means 11.6 full-time-equivalent positions would be cut. The district would drop from an instructional staff of 100 to 89.
Advanced Placement courses would still be offered, although art and music electives would be reduced.
“We’ve got to look at our staffing,” McDonald said.“We have declining enrollment.”
Ticonderoga has 840 students in grades kindergarten through 12, from 975 in 2008-09.
LEVY UP 3.78%
The 2013-14 budget has a tax levy of $10.7 million, a 3.78 percent increase from this year. The state formula allows the district to tax up to that 3.78 percent without requiring supermajority passage of the budget.
The full spending plans totals $18.5 million, a 3.7 percent increase over this school year.
The tentative tax rates are $10.15 per $1,000 of assessed value in the Ticonderoga part of the district, a 37-cent increase, and $12.20 in the Hague part, a 44-cent rise.
The superintendent said Ticonderoga got into the predicament because the district played by the state’s rules.
“We never exceeded a 4 percent fund balance prescribed by the (state) comptroller. As a result, we don’t have a cushion for these times.”
Health insurance is up 4 percent, about $150,000, under Plan A, McDonald said, which is only used by school retirees. Current employees are under Plan B, and that has no increase this year.
State aid is slated to go up 3.7 percent, for an additional $240,000.
The vote will include a proposition to buy one school bus and lease two for a total of $93,800.
McDonald said they believe the next school year will be a better one financially for the district.
“We do feel we’ll turn the corner next year. We feel like we’ll become healthy again, maybe restore some programs.”
He said the district will retire some of its debt service on previous building projects, and State Teacher Retirement System costs are expected to stabilize.
There were no concessions requested, McDonald said, because teachers and staff made concessions for the last three years.
“Our staff made more than $1 million in concessions over the last three years. State Education (Department) told us we are the only district with three consecutive years of concessions. I want to commend our staff for an unprecedented three years of concessions.”
He said the budget gives teachers contractual 2.8 percent raises and a return to the previously frozen pay scale for 2013-14, so the effective increase is about 9 percent.
Non-instructional staff and administrators are receiving 3 percent salary increases.
Administrative salaries had been frozen for the last three to five years, he said.
McDonald said he feels bad about the job cuts.
“There’s nobody on the list I don’t value. They’ve worked very hard for the kids.”
Email Lohr McKinstry:[email protected] blican.com
The budget hearing is at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Ticonderoga Elementary-Middle School auditorium.
The school election and budget vote is from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, at Hague Community Center and Ticonderoga High School lobby.
#139 May 12, 2013
Please excuse this information coming in an email but we wanted to get information to you as soon as possible.
I am shocked and saddened that I have to send this.
As you know the Executive Committee has been meeting since early March on how to minimize cuts to staff and programs. Many ideas were discussed at length and it was decided to open formal negotiations with the District. The Negotiations Team began working diligently with Mr. McDonald and Ms. Cossey based on a dollar figure presented by the Board of Education.
Two contract proposals, one from the TTA and one from the District, were then brought to the TTA Executive Committee for a vote. Both proposals contained monies that would help the current budget shortfall.
One was selected with the plan of bringing it to the our full membership for a vote. We were just waiting for an ok from the district which took longer than we had anticipated.
On Tuesday of this week I received a letter from Mr. McDonald that the Ticonderoga Central School District did not want to pursue any further negotiations.
We then requested to meet with members of the Board of Education and District to discuss this. The meeting was conducted last night with Mr. LaVallie, Mr. Palandrani, Mr. Wells, Mr. Russell, Mr. McDonald and Mrs. Cossey present.
In the meeting, the representatives of the school district again stated that they did not want to continue with our talks. They said they would rather pay us what we are due, make the additional cuts and negotiate in February.
We were shocked when the district also claimed that the hours of talks and proposals in the preceding weeks were merely "discussions" and not formal negotiations.
There was no budge. No movement from this position. It also became apparent in comments made that there are many areas of our contract that they want to try and examine in February.
The district now needs to cut an additional $168,000 from the current budget.
As previously scheduled, Megan O'Brien will be here on Monday to meet with those members impacted by reductions. That meeting will take place in High School Art Room at 3:00. She will also be here at 2:00 in the Elementary School for those who have duties that will keep them from that meeting.
Please plan on attending a general TTA meeting on Tuesday, May 14. Time and place is to be determined.
It is a sad day for Ticonderoga. It is not a great day to be a Sentinel.
#140 May 12, 2013
I'd like to know WHY we have soooooo many secretaries, guidance and REALLY 3 gym teachers! Let us start there with the cuts!
Let the students with above 80 average, grades 9-12 vote on which teachers are doing a great job and those "not so much". Let the children have a voice. They know who is doing their job and who isn't! Get rid of the "deadwood".
#141 May 12, 2013
The TTA proposal was pathetic!!
#142 May 12, 2013
Just tried to find what other schools are paying per 1000 of assessed value. These are proposed for the 2013-2014 school year. It seems that Ti pays a lot less than I pay per thousand.
Ti-$10.15 per 1000
St. Regis school district
Santa Clara- 17.49
Crown Point- 11.15
Newcombe homestead act- 3.12
Newcombe non homestead act- 16.11
Please add to this list as you find the information!
Ticonderoga seems to be one of the lowest that I could find.
I also find it interesting that so many people complain about school spending but not one person complains about The People of NYS buying 1.7 million dollars worth of land in Essex County on April 24, 2013. I am also trying to find the other land transactions that were made recently by the People of the State of New York! I thought NYS was broke??? Will NYS pay taxes for the full assessed value for the LAND they just bought (school and town)? I bet not! That is why so many schools in the north country are having budget problems!
Also... Go on See Through Ny and see what NYS is paying for many other things. It is insane that we complain about schoos when you look and see the other things our tax dollars pay for. I know that See Through NY is not totally accurate but it puts things in perspective!
So confused over most of the comments on here. I know most people feel that they only have a say on the school budget, so they tend to complain about the tax just to have a voice! I would much rather pay Ti's school tax rate but I do support my local school, students, and faculty! Wake up and be thankful for your community, your school, and your kids!
#143 May 13, 2013
$18 Million school budget? Nothing on how it is spent. That must be secret.
I like their accomplishments that walk the streets of Ti with facial piercings and ragged clothes. They can read well at the 4th grade level and rarely do they need help filling out a welfare application. Ti
Schools can be proud of the idiots they turn out.
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