West Islip to Close Kirdahy, Westbroo...

West Islip to Close Kirdahy, Westbrook Elementary Schools

There are 2480 comments on the WALK 97.5 story from Jan 13, 2012, titled West Islip to Close Kirdahy, Westbrook Elementary Schools. In it, WALK 97.5 reports that:

West Isilp - After weeks of study, the West Islip School District will close the Westbrook and Paul E. Kirdhay Elementary schools at the end of the school year, a decision officials say will save the district approximately $3 million, cutting its projected deficit in half.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WALK 97.5.

Enough is enough

Central Islip, NY

#1366 Apr 16, 2012
Yes, it is true larosa is the hold up. She is making decisions about redistricting based on where here friends live. She should not have any say in this. I clearly remember Mr Simon saying at a BOE meeting that the board decides which schools to close, but he does the redistricting. It is ridiculous that she or any board member has that much say in where the lines are. That is the friction between Larosa and Zotto. He has probably had enough of her taking over everything! Good for him. I have not heard anything about the super leaving, but I wouldn't be surprised. He has been ignored by the Board since he got here. They have not listened to any of his recommendations. They brought him in to do what they wanted. He has no ties to this community so he can be the bad guy for them and then retire and leave town. Who cares what mess is left behind.
Jessica

Brentwood, NY

#1367 Apr 16, 2012
How can that possibly be true? There is no way Ms. La Rosa is sitting there redistricting everyone when they paid who knows how many thousands of dollars for the stupid computer program that redistricts everyone.
Jessica

Brentwood, NY

#1368 Apr 16, 2012
Jessica wrote:
We were 6 million in the hole and supposedly had no options but to close 2 schools. Then, lo and behold, there isn't a 6 million dollar hole anymore, and we really don't need to come up with the other 3 million - phantom money came out of nowhere, but still 2 schools are closed. WHY? What are they going to do with them? That is the question.........There is something fishy here, it just doesn't seem right. Why not use this money to save at least one elementary school?
Can the geniuses who judged this comment please enlighten me and tell me an explanation for this?????? Where did the extra money come from? Why close 2 schools if it wasn't as bad as we thought? If you have an explanation PLEASE SHARE IT instead of going down the list of comments and automatically clicking the "disagree" button on every single one that doesn't agree with you or your friends. Maybe you can put an end to all of this animosity with a simple EXPLANATION.
Explanation

West Islip, NY

#1369 Apr 16, 2012
Jessica, I didn't judge your comment, but here is the answer:

In October there was a projected gap of 6 million dollars that needed to be closed in order to meet the tax cap law.

3 million was saved by closing the 2schools, that left 3 million left to find.

Teacher retirement incentives saved the district approx 700k
So now you are at about 2.3 short
State requirements for pension/health came in lower then the district was originally told by the state ( not sure how much that saved.)

State reversed its original plan to charge i districts for special Ed Pre k.saving another 500k

Administrative staffed was consolidated and reduced not sure what the savings amount was on that one

Dance program eliminated, 100k saved, not sure about the boces reduction final number
About 50 k was carved out of the athletic budget (uniforms and such)
Finally, more state aide given when the final budget was approved by the state releasing the 250million the governor wanted to use for competitive grants. Going west Islip another 700k.

Hope this helps you.
fyi

Bronx, NY

#1370 Apr 16, 2012
I do not think that Mrs.LaRosa is holding or herself doing the redistricting. I believe given the vast information that the community has received regarding class sizes in each building the redistrict is long done.

The redistrict may or may not be a point of contention between Mrs.LaRosa and Mr. Zotto. If there is any friction between the 2 it may very well have something to do with Mr. Zotto being the 1 trustee who voted against extending Mr. Simon's contract last year; particualarly if a raise was included in the extension and he has now indeed resigned.

It may also have to do with the fact that no one seems to be sure if Mr. Zotto is intending on running again for his seat on the BOE. If he does not run it would leave his seat unopposed for the taking and I don't think all members on the board are very welcoming to 'uninvited guests' aka. non hand picked new members.

@ Jessica~ it is rediculous that anyone disagrees with your statement given that we know that Mr. Simons initial estimates were so overly off the charts inflated. The estimate of state aide alone would obviously have been enough to save 1 building. His initial was 0% increase we ended up with $1.1 million.
Given that state budget always closes in very close to the completion of the school budget Mr. Simon and the BOE were very unfair to have not put together a budget that would have kept 1 ES open.
Truthfully regardless of the financials the BOE and Mr. Simon were very unfair to the community to not put a budget together that included 1 ES remaining open. Had this been done from the beginning the 1st bugdet may have been above tax cap, but once all the state aide was acurately taken in the over cap if any would have been very minimal.
When given the choice between student safety and maintaining the present bus service or saving money and changing the limits; the district voiced to the side of what was best for the children.
This is a community that goes above and beyond for our children and the decision regarding the school closures vs finances should have been on the table for the community to decide. Especially since 1 closure was described by even the BOE as being necessary due to financial issues while 1 was due to declining enrollment.

Now the govenor has sent $750,000 more in state aide. It will be interesting to see in the final budget which line this money is placed on. And if it is place in the reserves where it belongs, will it be there til next year or will it be reassigned to a new line to pay for another want before next year?
No Good Deed

Brentwood, NY

#1371 Apr 16, 2012
Explanation wrote:
Jessica, I didn't judge your comment, but here is the answer:
In October there was a projected gap of 6 million dollars that needed to be closed in order to meet the tax cap law.
3 million was saved by closing the 2schools, that left 3 million left to find.
Teacher retirement incentives saved the district approx 700k
So now you are at about 2.3 short
State requirements for pension/health came in lower then the district was originally told by the state ( not sure how much that saved.)
State reversed its original plan to charge i districts for special Ed Pre k.saving another 500k
Administrative staffed was consolidated and reduced not sure what the savings amount was on that one
Dance program eliminated, 100k saved, not sure about the boces reduction final number
About 50 k was carved out of the athletic budget (uniforms and such)
Finally, more state aide given when the final budget was approved by the state releasing the 250million the governor wanted to use for competitive grants. Going west Islip another 700k.
Hope this helps you.
So sad, Jessica really isn't so good with math. Thanks for explaining
phil

Freehold, NJ

#1372 Apr 16, 2012
"3 million was saved by closing the 2 schools" yes, maybe when the boe was saying that 20 teachers were being fired. Since then the number has gone down to 16 and now it's in the area of 6-8 teachers that will lose their jobs. How could the district still be saving 3 million? Not possible. And don't forget Bossee's all star statment that it's going to cost more $ to leave both schools empty than originally thought. Given just these two facts, the 3 million dollar savings is not mathematically possible. Take a personal slam at Jessica all you want the math doesn't add up it will never add up and you know it.
Just Me

West Islip, NY

#1373 Apr 16, 2012
Here's an idea. Why dont we wait for the ACTUAL budget to see where the money was saved or spent, then ripping it apart will make a little more sense than this rumor mill called Topix.

BTW 5pm has come and gone, any word on any other candidates???????
Anonymous

West Islip, NY

#1374 Apr 16, 2012
Unfortunately we have been mislead by this BOE. First we find out that the deficit was not as great as they had originally told us. Second when the State twice increased funding to our schools and the MTA Payroll tax to our schools was cut, the BOE restored nothing that had been previously been cut. But desite this increased funding, they still insisted on subjecting our youngest and most fragile students to the brunt of their deficit. They will close two ES schools which will result in larger class sizes and redistricting. But at the same time they announced proudly that they would make absolutely NO cuts to sports. They also made no cuts to the Middle School or High School programs. Next we are told us that an "expensive computer program" would
redistrict all West Islip students fairly and objectively. Then Mr. Simon tells us no, only Kirdahy and Westbrook students would be redistricted. Now we hear "rumors" are that BOE VP Larosa is involved in the redistricting. Apparently she is tweaking the streets for the redistricting of the children so that it benefits her friends.
The bottom line, if there a deficit it must be shared by ALL. That means all employees including the regular employees, the Teachers and the Administrators. It also means all the grades 1-12. No one group of students, and certainly not the youngest should be thrown under the bus to solve a deficit. And ALL activities including sports also must be included.
No I won't support this BOE budget in May because I feel that the budget is unfair and NOT best for our children or the district. Yes I know about all the bad things that happen when a budget fails. But it is not our job to vote yes and just rubber stamp the BOE's budget. It's the BOE's job to present the community with a fair and balanced budget that is truly good for ALL our students. It's the BOE job to present a budget that we want to support and that we want to vote Yes.
Just Me

West Islip, NY

#1375 Apr 16, 2012
Rich did you ever watch Charlie Brown? All I read when I see your name is the teacher, "Womp, Womp, Womp Womp Womp". No words just the teachers voice. GET OVER IT!!!!!!
Jessica

Brentwood, NY

#1376 Apr 16, 2012
Explanation wrote:
Jessica, I didn't judge your comment, but here is the answer:
In October there was a projected gap of 6 million dollars that needed to be closed in order to meet the tax cap law.
3 million was saved by closing the 2schools, that left 3 million left to find.
Teacher retirement incentives saved the district approx 700k
So now you are at about 2.3 short
State requirements for pension/health came in lower then the district was originally told by the state ( not sure how much that saved.)
State reversed its original plan to charge i districts for special Ed Pre k.saving another 500k
Administrative staffed was consolidated and reduced not sure what the savings amount was on that one
Dance program eliminated, 100k saved, not sure about the boces reduction final number
About 50 k was carved out of the athletic budget (uniforms and such)
Finally, more state aide given when the final budget was approved by the state releasing the 250million the governor wanted to use for competitive grants. Going west Islip another 700k.
Hope this helps you.
Thanks for the explanation, I do appreciate it, however it still doesn't add up in my head. I never pretended to be good at math, however even I can see that it still doesn't add up. At all of the budget work-sessions we were given lots of numbers that don't add up. The athletic budget presentation used numbers from years ago instead of the current numbers when presenting their budget. That right there was a bit shady. Then the buildings and grounds committee starts talking about moving costs associated with consolidating the schools and how it is going to cost a lot of money. So they really have no idea how much is saved by closing the 2 schools , nor do they care. They also don't care about how tight the fit will be in the elementary schools. There is a reason they wanted 2 closed. We'll find out eventually what it was, but I'm betting that it has little to do with money, because like I said - it was a lot of "the sky is falling we are flat broke we can't get out of this hole doom and gloom" and then all of a sudden it wasn't anymore. What happened?
Jessica

Brentwood, NY

#1377 Apr 16, 2012
No Good Deed wrote:
<quoted text>
So sad, Jessica really isn't so good with math. Thanks for explaining
Clearly you aren't that great at math either. You also suck at logic and have no common sense. Even a moron could see something isn't adding up.
Enough is enough

Central Islip, NY

#1378 Apr 16, 2012
Jessica wrote:
How can that possibly be true? There is no way Ms. La Rosa is sitting there redistricting everyone when they paid who knows how many thousands of dollars for the stupid computer program that redistricts everyone.
She is not redistricting everyone, she is having them change the neighborhoods where her friends live. There are certain areas that the district had slated to go to a specific school and she was not happy with that choice. She has had them move the lines to make changes based on certain neighborhoods, coincidentally neighborhoods where her friends live were the areas involved. Those areas are now slated to go to a different school. Hmmmmm
Enough is enough

Central Islip, NY

#1379 Apr 16, 2012
Jessica wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks for the explanation, I do appreciate it, however it still doesn't add up in my head. I never pretended to be good at math, however even I can see that it still doesn't add up. At all of the budget work-sessions we were given lots of numbers that don't add up. The athletic budget presentation used numbers from years ago instead of the current numbers when presenting their budget. That right there was a bit shady. Then the buildings and grounds committee starts talking about moving costs associated with consolidating the schools and how it is going to cost a lot of money. So they really have no idea how much is saved by closing the 2 schools , nor do they care. They also don't care about how tight the fit will be in the elementary schools. There is a reason they wanted 2 closed. We'll find out eventually what it was, but I'm betting that it has little to do with money, because like I said - it was a lot of "the sky is falling we are flat broke we can't get out of this hole doom and gloom" and then all of a sudden it wasn't anymore. What happened?
You are completely right. It doesn't add up. It was doom and gloom so everyone would accept two schools closing. Had they given us the real numbers from the beginning two schools should not be closing.
Anonymous

West Islip, NY

#1380 Apr 16, 2012
We will all find out a lot more what was behind this whole maneuver by the BOE to close two Elementary Schools when:
1. We find out "If" the district actually saves any money with the closures after we pay for construction costs to create classrooms, pay for extra buses to redistrict students, pay for moving costs, pay for maintainence and utilitiies for the vacant schools, and layoff 7 rather than 16 teachers.
2. When we find out which Realter handles the lease of the closed schools. Obviously any company with ties to any member of BOE should be exempted.
3. When we find who leases the buildings and find out "when" the lease deals were actually discussed.
Jessica

Brentwood, NY

#1381 Apr 16, 2012
Rich of WI wrote:
We will all find out a lot more what was behind this whole maneuver by the BOE to close two Elementary Schools when:
1. We find out "If" the district actually saves any money with the closures after we pay for construction costs to create classrooms, pay for extra buses to redistrict students, pay for moving costs, pay for maintainence and utilitiies for the vacant schools, and layoff 7 rather than 16 teachers.
2. When we find out which Realter handles the lease of the closed schools. Obviously any company with ties to any member of BOE should be exempted.
3. When we find who leases the buildings and find out "when" the lease deals were actually discussed.
Rich, they already let it be known that Jamie Winkler would be handling the lease of the closed buildings. However, believe it or not, I have no problem with this. She is a well known realtor in our area and whether she is friends with a BOE member or not really means nothing to me. That is the least of our problems!
Anonymous

West Islip, NY

#1382 Apr 16, 2012
But it really is a problem. Did this conflict of interest influence her vote to close our Elementary Schools? Leasing these two schools will lead to LARGE commission for Winkler Realty. Did this influence the decision to close Westbrook instead of Oquenock? These are big issues affecting our children and our district. Conflict of interest on an issue of this importance is not okay.
phil

Freehold, NJ

#1383 Apr 16, 2012
Jessica wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks for the explanation, I do appreciate it, however it still doesn't add up in my head. I never pretended to be good at math, however even I can see that it still doesn't add up. At all of the budget work-sessions we were given lots of numbers that don't add up. The athletic budget presentation used numbers from years ago instead of the current numbers when presenting their budget. That right there was a bit shady. Then the buildings and grounds committee starts talking about moving costs associated with consolidating the schools and how it is going to cost a lot of money. So they really have no idea how much is saved by closing the 2 schools , nor do they care. They also don't care about how tight the fit will be in the elementary schools. There is a reason they wanted 2 closed. We'll find out eventually what it was, but I'm betting that it has little to do with money, because like I said - it was a lot of "the sky is falling we are flat broke we can't get out of this hole doom and gloom" and then all of a sudden it wasn't anymore. What happened?
I know what happened. People got tired of paying more for less and started questioning where there $ was being spent. The answers to their questions (if they even got their question answered) didn't make sense and lacked simple economic logic. This got more people asking questions. The answers were changed. Then changed again. Soon the questions got too hard for them to answer truthfully, so we began to get fabrications instead of answers. Was very hard for them to keep all of the fabrications straight especially when the public was pointing out their errors in student calculations, available classrooms,$ over estimates, moving expense under estimates, dept budgets based on 3yr old information, and guidance councelors who cleverly let it be known in advance to parents that our boe had cut boces programs and changed boces qualification rules without making
it known to anyone!(a heartfelt thank you to those guidance counselors who let the cat out of the bag). With all the mistakes, misdeeds,sneakyness, fiscal inaccuracies and ineptness coming to light what do they do? They call people idiots, clueless, feebleminded, drunks, crazy, stupid, etc.
a different source

West Islip, NY

#1384 Apr 16, 2012
Enough is enough wrote:
<quoted text>
She is not redistricting everyone, she is having them change the neighborhoods where her friends live. There are certain areas that the district had slated to go to a specific school and she was not happy with that choice. She has had them move the lines to make changes based on certain neighborhoods, coincidentally neighborhoods where her friends live were the areas involved. Those areas are now slated to go to a different school. Hmmmmm
realY cause i heard she was asking them to make the redistrict make sense geographically, and not split up neighborhoods. i guess you really cant believe the gossip and innuendo.
Anonymous

West Islip, NY

#1385 Apr 17, 2012
a different source wrote:
<quoted text>realY cause i heard she was asking them to make the redistrict make sense geographically, and not split up neighborhoods. i guess you really cant believe the gossip and innuendo.
Or once again, we really can't count on the BOE for any truthful information or transparency. Just a lot of different stories and important decisions being made behind closed doors.

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