Thursday, April 08, 2010


By now, you've all heard about the Kingston Budget Proposal for 2010-11. It's the third draft from the board and, although significantly lower than the first two, it's still going to bust most of the taxpayers in the Kingston school district.

With our school taxes usually more of a burden than local and state taxes, any increased percentage has a broader impact. I know I will feel it more than my city tax increase, even if it's the same estimate. The amazing thing is just like where the City of Kingston's budget for 2010 went down $400K, the School District will only increase 2%. But the impact at home wont reflect that modest change be
cause of the drastic increase of healthcare costs.

I talked about the Library Media position on Wednesday night's show and actually reflected on the short video presentation we just had at our Programs/Education Committee in the Legislature. The positive effect the position has when bridging the students needs with today's technology in a learning setting is vital, and I'm glad the board chose to reconsider the cut.

A number of students and parents addressed the Board asking that the orchestra program be reinstated in the younger grades pointing out that that is where the potential talent is cultivated and prepared for the middle schools. With the additional $7 Million in healthcare costs hitting the school system in the last two years, the arts are usually the first to go.

Although they are cutting about 50 positions either through layoffs or through attrition, the overwhelming increases are still going to force the Board to increase the tax levy to the amount they proposed.

The positions being cut are listed in the papers. The capital expenses that are urgent are also addressed. What hasnt been discussed is the issues that callers brought to our attention, like how about a four day school week with two extra hours on the day? How about cutting the salaries at the top of the administration? How much do the teachers pay toward their benefits? If they are truly serving as teachers because of a calling to teach our children, then perhaps asking them to reconsider their portion of contribution to retain their teaching staff levels would be the approach?

Either way, this and the other increases, (one I helped to administer) will make everyone consider where they want to be in the next few years. I know I'll do my very best to help cut costs on the county level, but our friends in Albany have to reconsider how we fund New York State schools. This is getting ridiculous.


Anonymous said...

Here is some interesting info for you to ponder...the superintendent's contract (up in June 2010)

And the teacher's contracts

Let them cut the top levels and leave the programs alone. These kids need those programs to keep them engaged or they will surely find other things to get them into trouble.

Some of these salaries are way out of line for this area. This has to stop or we will have everyone leaving town faster than the blink of an eye.

Anonymous said...

I could not believe the salary that the superintendant gets for his"skills". And we need two of them?? (asst & Superintendant) If in fact his contract is up in June offer him a lower salary and if he does not take it than let him go. I am sure there are other candidates out there that would be more than willing to apply for the position with a negotiated lesser salary. With the population decreasing in the city and school system the current superintendant will have less to manage??? Certainly does not require an assistant. We all are having a tough times so if his job is a liitle more tough with less assistance than so be it. Most importantly, the children have to get the quality education and if the money keeps going for higher salaries how can that be accomplished? The taxpayers are getting tapped out. Just for the record, I am a daughter of a teacher and niece of a school administrator so I am not out to "get them" but rather I am concerned about the financial impact for taxpayers and the educational impact on the students.

Anonymous said...

I know you're a legislator now. But why are they picking up yard waste when my schedule says recycling.

Anonymous said...

The Zena school should be closed-less than 100 kids and they are bringing in children from outside their district?

Anonymous said...

How many past superintendents are we still paying for? Why not charge to play a sport like Burke has been doing for the past three years.

Anonymous said...

Hey 10:51 we are already paying to play sports, only issue is Gretzinger and his gang are stealing the money under the false pretense of salaries!
I already pay enough for my kids to attend a dump, dont dare try to charge me more while this fool collects $195,000 a year and my kids cant get a ball to throw!
Its all coming to a boil at the federal and state levels and soon the people will have thier voices heard
Gerry duck because your head is the first on the block!
Ill take this job for $75,000.00 to in case anyone reading this can hook me up.
I garauntee I can do just as good this guy.