May 2, 2012 Richfield Springs School annual budget hearing.
The vote will be May 15. A few citizens attended, tonight.
Mr. Smith began with the Pledge to the Flag, and as usual, no prayer.
Several students described their community service and what they learned, then left. I was very impressed with one who spent many hours helping an elderly woman around her home and yard, including mowing her lawn.
Superintendent Barraco made an impassioned plea for the public to pass a budget increase, again this year. He said it will be an "impossible task" to meet the new state teacher testing mandate without hiring another administrator. Up to now he did 50% of these teacher evaluations himself, but can't do them any more, due to the negotiated teacher contract. And there are not enough days in the school year to do this job, without more help. (or more days?)
He said both unions, instructional and non-instructional, made concessions that are keeping the increase, down.
Mr. Shypski, a board member both here and at BOCES, explained that BOCES has three budgets; and an extremely complicated system of accounting. We outsource some of our teaching to BOCES in Herkimer where some of our students are taken each day. He told us, as a BOCES member school, we are obligated to pay some expense, then purchase particular services.
He also said we can't do anything about the BOCES building budget. "It is what it is." He said we need more dollars and more school days for unfunded state mandates, like CPR teaching and Sex Abuse Prevention.
Mr. Shypski also mentioned the BOCES capital project came in under budget. $3 million less was spent than approved for that project.
Mr. Watson said our teachers are at BOCES, out of the classroom 8 days concerning "ELA testing" with teacher subs filling in here. I think it was about grading the state testing.
Mr. Buddle, head of our school transportation department, got a 100% approval from the state DOT (dept of transportation). Now that's one goal accomplished.
Mr. Barraco and Mr. Watson were recognized for working hard and were thankful to everyone else who worked to establish the new RSCS Educational Foundation Inc. A lawyer donated all the legal time needed. Brochures were distributed and we are encouraged to donate to help the school with a tax deductible gift or volunteering. You can send it to RSCS Foundation, 93 Main Street; that's the school. They are looking for a tax accountant.
The voting is set for May 15, on the proposed budget increase, on a tax for donation to the Village library, and on 2 board members up for re-election.
That same day, at the school, youngsters sign up for RSAA football, and the week long Book Fair is having "Family Night."