Friday, 14 May 2010 00:00
The GC School Budget vote is May 18 and we encourage all residents to get out and vote, because we believe the GC Schools are at an important crossroads.
The school board and administration are recommending that we vote to remove programs for our children at the expense of administration, teacher, and maintenance benefit and salary increases. To make matters worse, they are telling residents if the school budget is voted down then even more programs will be deleted by NY State. This is not necessarily true. If the school budget is voted down, the school board and administration can propose another school budget, to be voted on in June, which removes the salary increases and adds back the children’s programs.
As for the numbers, the school budget is proposed up $3 million (4.5 percent tax increase or $425 per family). The administration shows that pension and healthcare benefits account for $2.3 million of the increase and salary increases (administration, teacher, and maintenance) are $1.3 million. That adds to a $3.6 million increase, and cuts such as the science specialist, Quest, and some of the sports programs get the budget increase to the $3 million figure.
The fact is that if even half of the administration, teacher, and maintenance staff salary increases were eliminated (as many other towns and villages have done), then all the cut programs could be reinstated. A vote for this school budget is not only a vote to pay more for less, but it is a vote to prioritize salaries and benefits over the curriculum. Please, do your own homework and vote on May 18.