Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Paltz School Board and Budget Election Results 2010

Uncertified - Read at Poll Close by Maria Rice

School Budget - Passed
Yes 1354
No 959

Bus Proposition - Defeated
Yes 1030
No 1237

School Board
Coxum 732
Profaci 932
Tozzi 371
Swigart 331
* Rich 980
* Rodriquez 984


Brittany Turner said...

any write-ins?

kt tobin flusser said...

@bt - i was told one person wrote me in (?) but don't have a full list yet -- should have it tonight when we certify the results

kt tobin flusser said...

Maria said...

Lagusta would be hilarious to have on the school board, what with her disliking children but not wanting to be a monster!

Martin McPhillips said...

The "yes"/"no" on the budget was quite vigorous over a bone so small -- just a 1% difference between proposed budget and contingency.

I'm used to seeing the budgets pass by about 950 to 450, if I am remembering correctly. So these numbers are unusual. Wish they had gone the other way.

Some satisfaction in the rejection of the new buses. Small potatoes, but the message could be "don't take us for granted." That's good, but I prefer a much harder approach.

And good for Edgar. He was the top vote getter. The voters overlooked his indiscretions and rewarded his regard for taxpayers in the great Middle School debate.

I'm almost certain he'll give me cause to regret breaking my "don't vote for anyone" policy to vote for him, but maybe he'll surprise me again.

Anonymous said...

Spin, Martin, spin. Cognitive dissonance on full display.

Martin McPhillips said...

Maybe a little spin, but mostly just my reaction to the budget vote: interesting and disappointing. I wanted the voters to take back that 1%.

I don't know where the "cognitive dissonance" is, other than perhaps inside your own head.

Anonymous said...

It's the gap between the results of the budget vote and your obvious conviction that, in your relentlessly negative attacks on the district, you are on the side of the majority of oppressed tax payers.

Martin McPhillips said...

If you read back through my blog posts (at my blog, the original NPJ not the local edition), I've always been on the side of taxpayers who find the ever-increasing school taxes oppressive. They have never been in the majority, at least in the six years since I've been back up here.

In fact, I was surprised, though not shocked, that the Middle School bond got clobbered. I had no idea how that vote was going to turn out.

I'll speculate, based on the MS bond vote, that had there been a serious choice this year, let's say between the 2% increase in tax levy of the contingency budget and a 6% increase in the proposed budget, the vote would have been a lot closer or gone the other way.

I think that the District and the school board were making the same bet.

I was nonetheless impressed that 950 or so people voted against even the 1% difference (higher) in the tax levy in the proposed budget.

My position is that budgets should be continuously voted down to force the School District to reshape its ways. That's been my position almost since I started paying attention to it.

As for my "relentlessly negative attacks" on the School District, those are, in the normative sense, aimed only at the bureaucracy and its political machine. I try not to make it personal, though I will occasionally pin Maria Rice as the Secretary General of our local soviet. But I honestly don't think she makes any difference, one way or the other, and could be replaced tomorrow to no discerible effect. It's really the bureaucratic political machine that rolls on, and its real masters are in Albany and in the local union.

Deeper than that, meaning deeper than the tax/spend issue of the local School District, I could go all the way back to the public policy question about compulsory education itself. I actually don't find those waters too deep, but not many are swimming in them.

I'll say this, I wouldn't have even taken notice of this issue if I didn't think the price tag was way too high, but it caught my attention. Regretably, I don't have the time to do it real justice, so the real excavation work is out of my reach, at the moment.

kt tobin flusser said...

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess if you seriously question compulsory education (and think it a coincidence that all advanced nations were built on it and the most disadvantaged countries lack it) than any system will seem too costly for your tastes.

Martin McPhillips said...

Well you guess wrong, George. I could find a price for public education acceptable, and still revisit the theory behind the public policy of compulsory education.

But between those two questions, American public education strikes me as fossilized in mid-stride, giving the effect of moving forward as it falls rapidly behind.

Spending more money on the fossil isn't my idea of a good idea.

Martin McPhillips said...

KT's link is to a press release from the association of school boards, which notes that statewide 92% of school budgets passed, and that coincidentally...

"The average proposed spending increase of 1.4 percent for 2010-11 is the lowest in 15 years and continues a downward trend. The average spending increase was 2.3 percent in 2009-10, 5.3 percent in 2008-09, 6.1 percent in 2007-08 and 6.3 percent in 2006-07.

"In fact, half of all school districts kept their proposed spending increases under 1 percent for the coming year. Thirty percent of districts actually reduced spending. [my emphasis]

"The average statewide tax levy increase of 3.2 percent was still lower than the five-year average of 4.8 percent. Prior to this year's proposed cut in state aid, average tax levy increases declined for five straight years, from 6.89 percent in 2005 to 5.91 percent in 2006, 3.91 percent in 2007, 3.37 percent in 2008, and 1.89 percent last year."

Sounds like mostly everyone got the memo.

Brittany Turner said...

KT, any word on those write-ins yet?

kt tobin flusser said...

@bt - see link above (3rd comment)

Brittany Turner said...

Oh thanks kt, I thought it was just a press release

Anonymous said...

Will the New York State education system and taxpayers enjoy the benefits now being realized in the State of Indiana? It is unclear at this time, but many taxpayers here in NY and New Paltz are sure to rally behind this new way of addressing this exist monopoly held by school districts...

May 5, 2011

Governor signs sweeping voucher bill into law
By Maureen Hayden

INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Mitch Daniels signed two more pieces of his aggressive education reform agenda, praising his legislative allies for pushing through what he described as years of resistance to change.

In a Statehouse ceremony attended by more than 100 schoolchildren Thursday, Daniels signed into law House Enrolled Act 1003, permitting state funds be used for private-school tuition through a voucher program; and House Enrolled Act 1002, which opens the door to more charter schools, which are publicly funded and independent of their local school districts.

At Thursday’s bill-signing ceremony, the Republican governor said it was a Democratic legislator who first floated the idea more than a decade ago about giving families more choices for where to send their children to school. But until this past legislative session, the idea seemed out of reach.

“If we’ve learned anything in Indiana, we’ve learned change can happen, but change is hard. Change always brings uncertainty,” Daniels said.

Daniels said the voucher and charter school bills — both of which were opposed by most Democratic lawmakers — will open up opportunities that had been closed to children whose families had few resources.

“We say today, that every child is precious. Every child deserves an equal chance to be all they can be. Regardless of race, regardless of income, every child and every parent deserves an equal chance,” Daniels said.

Opponents of his reform measures haven’t seen it that way. At the end of the legislative session last week, Minority Leader Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, called the session “a complete disaster.”

In a statement issued to the media, Bauer said the “greatest tragedy” of the session would be the harm done to students at traditional schools that will cut back on teachers and services because of less state education dollars coming their way.

One area of agreement, though, is that the bills signed by Daniels on Thursday mark a departure from K-12 education policy of the past. “Things have changed,” said Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne. “Indiana is heading in a brand-new direction and we are not looking back.”

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett said the state Department of Education is working on the logistics of how to put the voucher program into place by this fall. The new law allows parents who meet certain income and other guidelines to tap into state dollars to help pay tuition at parochial and private schools. It’s based on a sliding income scale; a family of four earning less than $41,000 a year is entitled to a $4,500 voucher for a student in grades one through eight and $4,964 for a high school student. Families of four that earn between $41,000 and $61,000 can receive up to $2,758 per student in any grade. The voucher bill law also includes a tax deduction of $1,000 for each child currently enrolled in a private school or home school.

The vouchers are capped at 7,500 for the first year, and 15,000 for the second year. The cap is lifted in the third year.

The new charter school law expands the number of universities and colleges in the state that are eligible to sponsor a charter school; it also increases funding for online virtual charter schools and allows charter schools to take over unused buildings owned by a public school district.

Daniels has already signed legislation that limits teachers’ collective bargaining agreements to wages and wage-related benefits; and the day after the legislative session ended, he signed a teacher merit-pay bill into law that links teacher pay to student achievement.