School (Ticonderoga Central School) budget question and comments:
My question to Mr. (Superintendent John) McDonald is: What specifically do mean when you say “staff cuts would have had a tremendous negative impact on our students?” If you say there would be more students per teacher and quality of education would go down then I would have to say when I graduated in 1967 the class rooms were full with 25 to 30 students. My classmates and I got good educations and went on to be good citizens and employees working in a variety of professional fields. According to my year book we had a total of 61 teachers/aids including elementary grades and graduated 91.
There is a myth that our school is highly ranked academically. The quality of our education as measured by SAT scores is not very good. I’m not sure where we rank in New York State, but I know New York ranks 46th in the nation, but our cost per student per year is the highest in the nation. Our SAT rating does not justify the highest paid teachers in the country.
To me the budget issue is caused by too many teachers at high salaries, number of aids and a pro teacher board of education who continues to gush money into teachers’ pockets through annual salary action which has averaged 4.62 percent over the last 20 years. Sixty percent of our teachers make between $60,000 and $100,000 per year with a tremendous benefits package!
I’m going to vote no to any budget presented because our superintendent and pro teacher board of education have cut in the wrong places and we will have to revisit the issue again next year.
I totally agree with the newly-formed student budget committee who also had an article in the paper last week. The board should listen to them, not cut what they want to keep and cut where the cuts need to be. The budget can be managed and not have an impact on students. They just need to cut the right place, teachers and benefits.
I am not against teachers. I’m against paying higher taxes every year. The higher school taxes root cause is teachers and their high cost. When a teacher makes $99,000 a year, has the best insurance paid mostly by taxpayers, summer off, and a retirement benefit of $70,000 or so something is dreadfully wrong. Wake up Ticonderoga.
All the facts in this write up can be found in reputable web sites like seethroughny.com.