School budget vote is today!

Hmmm….how should I vote?

To be honest – I will be voting under duress.  It is horrible. 

I live in a very good school district, but the past few years the school board has been cutting back on programs yet our taxes still increased more than the rate of inflation.  My husband hasn't had a raise in a few years, but they finally did settle his contract recently.  Two years without one – BUT the teachers get theirs settled and they get all they want.  Not complaining completely here – they do deserve the salary they get, but years back they took a beating on their investments but were guaranteed a return.  HEY we all took a beating, no one guaranteed my return, and to add insult to injury it was we, the taxpayers, who had to foot the difference!

Our school board needs new blood.  I will be going to vote the incumbants out and fresh voices in.  I will vote to pass the budget even if it means my taxes will go up over $550 this year.  So I will be paying approximately $7500 in taxes – it increased 50% since I moved in some 7 years ago!  All because of the school. {This is cheap though compared to my neighbors paying over $14,000}

If the budget does not pass, we will go on contingency – which means sports will be eliminated – devastating my children. I can not do that to them.  Electives will be eliminated on the high school level and the school day will drop from 9 to 8 periods.  Class size will increase as well.

So, yes, I will be voting to pass the budget.  But, financially, I won't be happy about it.

UPDATE

BUDGET PASSED AND TWO NEW MEMBERS WERE VOTED ONTO THE BOARD – WE SHALL SEE WHAT COMES NEXT!

Oh and to all the naysayers that proclaim the board will never deliver on their message to cut back – they did last year and we hand to fundraise to get our sports back! So I voted with a "gun to my head".

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2 Responses to “School budget vote is today!”

  1. Fundraiser Says:

    Do you really think that it would be possible for a school district to cut sports? I’ve never heard of that happening. Not to mention that even if they cut the sports budget then a group of committed parents would get together and fundraise for the team to be able to play.

    It would be a sad day if they cut sports altogether. Fundraising may be the key thing to implement now in case they want to cut it in the future.

    John
    Fundraising Website

  2. way2much Says:

    John,
    Last year, we did not pass the budget. We were furious with administrative costs and felt that the money was not going to the children. We wanted to make a statement.

    They cut after school busing for the middle schools (3) and for the high schools (2). This meant that anyone that stayed after for any extra-curricular activity, be it sports or other clubs, needed to find a way home other than late buses. So for students with 2 working parents, this made it quite difficult for staying after – since there was no way home.

    They eliminated sports on the middle school level. My son, active in football and lacrosse, was devastated. We, the voters, decided to call the board's bluff and they delivered. They indeed cut EVERYTHING they threatened. So, like you mentioned, we fund-raised. Any way you can think of. We had to raise $222,000 to restore the sports in our community.

    How did we do it?
    The local (town) paper had a subscription drive – $25 for the year. ALL proceeds went to the fundraiser.
    Local restaurants (McDonald's and Carabbas) offered a certain percentage back from sales on a particular evening. Both nights were like a meeting hall, packed with "sports" families and supporters.
    They sold rubber bracelets like the "live strong" bracelets with our district's name and colors.
    They asked for donations from families in the district. My family alone donated $500.
    I, personally, held a Pampered Chef fundraiser in which I donated my commission to the organization.

    There were other ways, I just cannot remember them. It was a long summer and it was undecided until mid-August when we handed the board the check for 222,000 and then they decided to restore the sports. Sports was the only group that went to the extreme to reinstate the program, other clubs didn't go to that extent. Some were upset that we got it back, but we struggled.

    Other schools on Long Island were not so lucky – they did not raise enough to bring their sports back and suffered the consequences.

    This year when they threatened BOTH middle school AND high school sports, taxpayers (especially with children who play sports) were terrified the budget would not pass and voted YES. The increase for our taxes amounted to somewhere near $500 for the year. If the budget was defeated , our taxes would still go up $425 under austerity. So for the extra $75 we voted the budget through, in order not to have ALL our programs cut. Full day kindergarten was on the list as one of the programs being cut. Taxpayers in our community, those with children in the schools in particular, did not want to take the same chance as last year. No one wanted their taxes going up, but we felt the pressure to vote in favor of the new budget.

    NOW WE WELCOME THE AUDIT OUR DISTRICT WILL BE GOING THROUGH. We want to make sure the board is using the money the best way they can.

    I haven't had the chance to look at your site before I commented, but I did take a glance – looks interesting. Thanks for your comment.


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