The Re-Vote has PASSED.
Budget Re-Vote Results
YES - 376
NO - 249
The agressive threats by the "No Vote Camp" woke up the residents of Elmsford. They have made a clear statement with the largest turnout of votes in the past 6 years, that the support the Board, Admins and Teachers of Elmsford.
The comments on this thread were sometimes irrational, sometimes misinformed and boarderline rude; but the sentiment is correct. The Elmsford Schools need to improve. There is a lot of work to be done. With a new Superintendant and Board Member maybe the district can accelerate its improvement.
Those that did not approve of the budget should become involved. You have not been defeated. There is no us vs. them attitude. The community needs to work together to improve this schools.
Thanks to all that voted. Thanks to all that participated in the Democratic process. Thanks to all that made their arguments heard.
This will be my last post on this article. Time to get back to work. View Comment
I can see that there will be no changing your mind.
Thank you for your interest in the Elmsford Schools (regardless of your "side" of this debate.)
If you read the posts (from me and others) no one is touting Elmsford as a "top tier" school. No one is against changing some things that go on there.
However the root of the disagreement here is the method by which to make that change. If the budget gets voted down tomorrow, there will be little resources left needed to make changes. It will result in more layoffs (teachers, paraprofessionals, and admins), more cuts to programs (academic and athletic) and even more limited opportunity to the students of elmsford.
You have chosen to send your children to private school. You have choose to live in a school district that you do not think is worthy of your family. Those are choices. You could take that private school tuition and use it to move to a district that you do approve of. And the simple fact that you can afford a private school puts you in a different situation than most of the Elmsford students. Their families dont all have the means to put their children in a "better" school, they are at the mercy of groups of other parents like yours. They cant afford to send their kids to a "better" school. Yet they have neighbors like you shouting about how the school should be shut down.
Imagine if the situation were reversed. What if you could no longer afford the private school. What if you sent your kids to Elmsford, you werent thrilled with the school but it was your only choice. Then image if you read comments that demanded the school shouldn't be funded, that your kids teachers fired and the school closed, all because the rich people across town didn't want to fund it because it wasnt as good as their selective private school. You would be outraged.
Seek first to understand before trying to be understood.
In addition, there are GREAT things that happen in Elmsford. If you have been in and around the district you know that the students are kind, appreciative, friendly and really want to have a good school. You should have seen that the teachers are dedicated and go way above and beyond their jobs for students. The admins are trying to keep up with NY State Educational BS while running schools that are safe, clean and as well maintained as the finances let them. Some of the athletic teams are the best in their Class, kids are graduating and going on to Ivy League Schools. Some are getting full NCAA scholarships. Its not the disaster school you think it is.
Could you fire the admins and hire folks at 1/2 the price... sure, but who will take that job? Who will be a superintendant of schools in Elmsford making 1/2 the salary of every other supt? Who would principal a building in Elmsford when there are other schools that make 2x as much. Your logic fails when put against reality.
The budget vote is not about approving or disapproving of a school. It is about agreeing to fund a budget that the citizens (school board) have proposed as necessary to run the district. NY put limits on those budgets, there is nothing left to cut.
I hope to see you at future board meeting with your ideas about how to actually change the district in the future. I hope the schools can become something you would put your family name behind. I hope you find empathy for those whose lives are different.
Fund the school.
Support your elected Elmsford Board Members.
Support the students of 10523
VOTE YES. View Comment
agreed... however that CANNOT be done within the school budget. If the school wanted to make changes to the transportation a SEPARATE vote would have to take place to approve it.
This was brought up at the school board meeting.
That is state law not a school board choice. View Comment
Here is a response to consider for both of your posts.
We as a community have to make the decision that an educated population is a requirement to a productive society. That it is in the best interest of all of us to provide an education to every child. Drawing a line between what is "mine" and "theirs" is a dangerous road to go down.
The situation of the students in Elmsford are varied. Some have stable home lives, some dont. Many students have jobs themselves to support their families.
The idea that you are just willing to abandon the Elmsford students because they live in a town where there is little support of their school says as much about you as it does about the school's parents. (not meant to insult, but like most things the truth of the situation resists simplicity)
I sympathize that you have not had a raise in quite some time. I agree that the administrators are overpaid for their results. I agree that district has to improve. Where I disagree is the method needed to improve it.
I know for a fact that failing this budget will lead to a MUCH worse district than we have today. When you really look at the tax savings for voting no you might realize that you dont save that much. It will take the district years to recover from a failed budget. Have you considered thinking of the schools as an investment in your village. By improving the schools you can improve the value of your home and encourage more businesses to move in, which increases the tax base and can actually lower your tax burden.
Read my suggestions to Justin about getting involved. Getting to understand the students and their families. Attending board meetings standing up with your voice and your opinions and holding them accountable to spend this money wisely.
A no vote does not give the message you want to give.
Lets all strive to improve this district. Lets come together to make this happen.
VOTE YES. Support Elmsford Schools. View Comment
I guess we just disagree about what should happen first.
I think that parents SHOULD be demanding that that admins improve the school, that the admins should be held accountable.
I do NOT think that the best way to send that message is by voting down the budget. I do think that it sends the message that the community doesnt care about the schools at all.
When month after month there are few to no parents at board meetings, when there are few to no calls to teachers about student progress, when the stands are empty at home games, and then there is a uprising to vote the budget down it just confirms that idea.
Isnt the result you want a better, more effective school district? Doesnt everyone want better education for the students and a more efficient district? Can we all agree that this will only happen with community and parental support. Actually support not just support once a year at a vote.
What would happen if the school was properly funded? If there were enough teachers to provide students with the proper ratio for learning. What would happen if they school could afford new text books, or new computers? What would happen if classrooms didnt have leaking roofs, leaking windows and peeling paint? What would happen if the students could have field trips to great locations? What would happen?
By killing the funding you drastically reduce the ability to improve. The elimination of more teachers/staff would increase class size. The loss of sports would provide less motivation for students. All the cuts would only hurt this district.
Seek change by working on change. Not by cutting funding. Dont cut off you nose to spite your face.
VOTE YES. Support Elmsford Schools. Then get involved to make the changes you want.
Using the logic of your own argument one could say that the voters failing to elect you to the school board is a clear sign from the community that they do not support YOUR plans and ideas.
No they cannot just put it up again until it passes. Legally the school board can hold ONE revote after a budget vote fails. After that the school district would automatically adopt a contingency budget. That budget would require tremendous cuts to the school programs and academics.
Details of that are on the school's website (elmsd.org)
The district putting up the same budget could also be interpreted as them saying that they have cut all they can. There is very little left in the budget to remove that does not start deeply affecting students or operations. Previous years cuts have already hurt this school district. Class sizes are higher, repairs on the buildings are at an all time low. Teams have been cut, teachers moved to part-time.
(and yes Justin we are all aware by now how you don't think the district should have as many admins or how they could be more efficient and how they could do lots of things cheaper, I agree with that also. I dont think that a contingency budget is the solution though)
I also didn't see you at the open School Board meeting where they were listening to input from the community prior to deciding what to do for the 2nd vote.
This community needs to realize that they have a great school district, a small gem of wonderful children and caring teachers in a county full of pretentious overly competitive factory schools.
All other readers of this:
If you live in Elmsford please come out to VOTE YES for this school district. Then come visit it, ask how to volunteer, ask what you can do to help make sure every $ you pay towards it is used in the best way possible. Attend Board Meetings, ask questions, ask for a tour, come see a home soccer game or basketball game. Find out how hard work, perseverance and dedication has students from Hamilton attending Ivy League Colleges, and others receiving Division I NCAA Scholarships.
Learn about your schools vote with first hand knowledge of the school, not just what you read in some internet comments.
Support them, your children deserve it.
I disagree with most of your above post...
You have no context, no experience and no insight into what it takes to work for, run or teach in a school system. You are on the outside looking in.
I would recommend that you spend some significant time within a school system, understanding how and why they make decisions before you throw insults and fictional statistics at it.
Call the office and offer to volunteer. Call and ask if they could use an volunteer coach or classroom aide. Spend an hour a month with the students and teachers. It might help you realize the complexity of the situation. There is no simple answer and there is no villain.
You continuous attack on teachers is played out. Teacher work more hours that most people, they spend countless hours "off the books" planning, grading, learning and preparing to do their job. Come by and visit the Elmsford schools at 5pm or 6am or a day in July, you will find teachers in their classrooms, cleaning, working and planning. You will see coaches working with athletes and a staff improving the facilities.
Visit a teachers house and you will see workbooks, gradebooks, computers full of bookmarks and lesson plans. Pick up the phone right now call one of your former Elmsford teachers and ask if they brought work home. Then ask them if they earn too much or if they are ready to take the "blame" for whatever it is you think is wrong.
As to your last paragraph. You have the cart before the horse. The support of the community (especially its most vocal) is what allows a school to become successful. If you are waiting to support a "good" school but spend your time on the internet and in town bashing it... you will be waiting a long time.
Listen, Learn and then preach.
And by unions you mean the hardworking teachers that work tirelessly to help students?
why dont you just say what you mean... that teachers dont deserve the salary they get. That you want people spending the day educating your children for less money. You want teachers to be fired, or moved or harassed by administrators and parents?
Isnt it in the best interest of the students to have a stable, mature, well educated faculty? Do you want your student with a first year (and cheaper) teacher every year? Or do you want a faculty with advanced degrees, who are passionate experts in their field, excited to motivate students and share their love of learning?
When did schools, children and students become the enemy?
Why is Edgemont a more "successful" school than elmsford? Because there is an overwhelming support of the district by the residents.
This past year the Edgemont budget received 505 votes in favor and 102 votes opposed. Compared to Elmsford where the vote was 204yes-135no.
It shows the support. Without support districts keep budgets low (to assure a yes vote) In order to keep them low they CUT, CUT, CUT... it is a viscous cycle. Low Support = Low Budgets = CUTS = Worse schools = LOWER SUPPORT...
Until you spend a day in a teachers shoes (especially in the places you are trashing) you should ask instead of tell. View Comment
The tax payers of Elmsford will get what they pay for. They currently have a school that is need of massive repair or replacement. They have their youngest students spending their days in a building that is in a very sad state.
And that is exactly what they must want.
The people who voted NO on this have lost the right to complain about their housing prices being low because NO ONE wants to buy a house in their school district. They lost the right to complain when more teachers are cut to make the repairs affordable. They lost the right to whine about why there are almost no sports, AP classes or electives at the high school. When you invest $0.00 you get 0.00 back.
Those repairs will have to take place. The list of serious repairs is tremendous. I guess the 5 year olds will just have to suck it up. Maybe they should give them hard hats instead of crayons.
Very short sighted. What a shame. View Comment
Those points I agree with.
I dont live in Elmsford. I do have some very good knowledge of the school system there.
I know that many solutions were put on the table before the idea of a new wing was choosen. This included a cost/benefit analysis from an outside organization. The new wing at grady was the most beneficial option that met the needs of the district.
I know the proposal is expensive and will cost tax payers. I also know that Elmsford is a debt free school district. It hasnt put up a bond or asked for money beyond the budget for many many years.
The overal budget of a school district has a tremendous amount of costs that are uncontrollable (health care, utilities, etc) that budget in elmsford is basic. There is no extra money that can be cut. This year they even cut the bowling team to try and keep the budget low. Smalle districts always appear to spend more per student because the costs are not actually tied to the number of students. You need a supt and a principal for each building. if you want an admin that is not incompetent you need to pay a fair competitive wage (you get what you pay for) so when you divide costs like that, smaller schools look expensive.
And remember that mt carmel gets a lot of its money (for text books, special ed services and transportation) from the public schools, including elmsford.
overall i dont think the new wing is a terrible idea. You are right though, the PARENTS need to speak up and start SUPPORTING the schools. Relators do usher people away from elmsford. I know the schools are improving but they need to parents to start making education a priority for their families.
After reading your post 2 things are obvious.
1. you have never been in Dixson
2. You were not at the meetings where the true situation of Dixson was explained.
There are major issues with Dixson. The building is ancient. The basement storage rooms have the original exposed foundation of BOULDERS.
The admin of Elmsford is not in the business of SPENDING MONEY!! They are in the business of teaching and learning.
I hope that you are not a parent of a young student in Elmsford. Your rationale is that we should only do the bear minimum to pacify the students needs. The issues with the building are much greater than floor tiles and paint.
The reality of the situation at hand is that 6 year olds have to go to school in an building that is not safe.
What you are seeing is the end result of doing just the minimum to keep budgets low. (Just like you want) Everyone screams to keep the budgets down... but you cant keep cutting. There is nothing left in school budgets to cut and there is nothing left to IMPROVE anything.
The reason schools succeed or not is the support of the community. Housing prices are related to school performance. If you want your housing value to improve (who doesnt) then HELP instead of COMPLAIN! Go to the meeting and LISTEN to WHY this is the most viable option. ASK QUESTIONS, not passive agressive comments, and not some crazy ideology that we can just cut bugets to save the day.
I bet the real TRUTH is that you would not want to send your child to Dixson. Maybe you didnt send them there. But not everyone has that choice. If you live in Elmsford and you are against this idea you should go express that. BUT you should also find out WHY it is being proposed. The FACTS and TRUTH. Ask for PROOF. Ask for a tour of Dixson. Ask why it cant be repaired. Ask for photos or engineer reports. Ask what it takes to do major repair work on a building that is on the register or historical buildings. Ask if there is a cheaper option. Ask if they care about kids.
Ask WHY they come to work.
There is no conspiracy. View Comment