Monday, January 21, 2008

What . . .Again? Another NYM School Vote

I really dislike getting solicited by educators looking for money because they seem to assume that you are stupid, that they are underpaid for their qualifications and what they do, that there are no other pressing needs in the community, that the taxpayers have deep pockets, that disaster will strike if they don't get what they want and get it NOW, and that you don't "care about the kids" if you turn them down.

The same feeling of dislike came over me when I saw the most recent mailing from the NY Mills school district pushing its building project. It was full of 'attitude.' If you remember, last October the voters turned it down. Now it's baaaaack!
"Why is the district putting up a building project for a vote again?
To ensure a healthy and safe environment, to accommodate
program changes, to meet special education guidelines, and to help all
students meet New York State Education Department requirements."
Is the school district saying that it does not currently have a healthy and safe environment, cannot accommodate program changes, does not meet special education and NYS requirements? Of course not. NYSED has not come down on the Mills. What NYM Schools is saying is that you made the wrong choice in October when you said "no," and you are going to have to go back to the polls until you get it right.

In its explanation of why "school districts need more space now when they have fewer students than they did 30 years ago" it cites the 1975 Education of Handicapped Children Act, the 1982 closing of Main St. Elementary School, the 1985 Regents Action Plan, and the 1990 Reauthorization of the Individual with Disabilities Education Act. Why is all that relevant now in 2007? The school district insults the readers' intelligence. (At least the school district admits that it has fewer students.)

While NYM says that "class size research supports smaller classes," as I pointed out the other day what passes for "research" in the education field often is unscientific and is really opinion dressed up with a few facts for credibility. Older folks will remember when the standard class size of 30 presented no problems -- if the teacher knew what he or she was doing. NYM's average elementary class size according to NYSED is about 21 . . . What's wrong with that?
"What happens if the project vote does not pass?
The cost to the district will be devastating over time . . ."
WOW! Devastation, no less!

Don't you love it when they break the taxpayer cost down to monthly amounts? One teacher had a letter to the editor saying it would cost only 13 cents a day! How about the cumulative cost . . . not only over years, but on top of what we are already paying or will pay soon (such as the BOCES expansion approved earlier last year)? And how about the costs to staff the expansion, and heat it, and maintain it?

One useful bit if information in the newsletter is that NYM 2007-08 "Tax on True" is $20.02. While it alleges that it is one of the lowest in the area (comparables are not given), it means that you are already paying over 2% of the true value of your home every year to the school district alone. Add that to the town, county, and village taxes and you will conclude that if you stay in your home about 35 years you will be paying as much to local government as you do for your house.

Now that is DEVASTATION.

The vote is Wednesday, January 23, 2008 7AM - 9PM at the High School.

1 comment:

Moving South2 said...

Strike,

You forgot to include the recent 8.25% water rate increase and the 10% New York State Thruway INCREASE!

Time for all of us to move South.