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All districts need vision

April 6, 2014

Many area school districts are breathing a sigh of relief after receiving the gift of an increase in aid in the New York state budget for the next year....

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(21)

Christopher

Apr-07-14 8:02 PM

You are correct, concerned. But, there shouldn't have been an option.

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Frb002

Apr-07-14 4:11 PM

Chautauqua and Mayville are the only districts that have had a successful merger vote, so apparently the taxpayers in this county have not come to that realization. Dunkirk is the second largest district in the county so it has some economies of scale. Further it is considered a poor district, with a high minority student count relative to other districts, therefore that generates aid on a formula that has been tweeked for political reasons for decades. In addition, in the past ten years there have been significant retirements from the district, teachers earning $70 or more being replaced by ones making $30. Yes, small districts by their inherent size are inefficient but until the public accepts the idea of mergers, nothing changes. We as a community have had thirty plus years to deal with the exit of good paying jobs and the ramifications of that and we have done nothing.

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Captain

Apr-07-14 12:15 PM

Local school supts are very well paid (I'd bet Chaut Co even has a national reputation for being so generous and that many supts would LOVE to come here), but considering the high salaries that subordinates earn, are supt salaries excessive? I say yes.

BOEs set a supt's salary based on a national income standard, or the "going rate", NOT on the number of students within their district. Therefore, the position itself, and not the responsibilities (or lack thereof) dictates higher pay. Supts who have less duties or minimal job responsibilities simply b/c the district that employees them is so small that the job actually doesn't require much effort, yet this is apparently irrelevant. Further, after BOEs identify the national standard for a supts salary, it will often adjust or tweak that salary to better reflect what his/her subordinates earn.

Our local BOEs have proven to be complete failures.

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concerned

Apr-06-14 10:08 PM

Christopher not to stick up for the Dunkirk BOE if I remember correctly they wanted to centralize the schools years ago but all the parents who wanted junior close by shot it down so they remodeled school seven and now the rest of them. It took a lot to close school six with all the parents complaining>

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DKexpat

Apr-06-14 7:03 PM

thefts on, I'd added it up a couple of years ago, and Chau Cty taxpayers spend $3-4 million/year more . . . for less than 1/3 the number of students.

It's no wonder administrators don't want to merge, or even consolidate, services.

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tjefson

Apr-06-14 6:39 PM

DKexpat, so we are paying 18 or 19 superintendents what your county pays for one. The superintendent in your area is compensated more, but deserves what he or she gets. Here we see an exploitation of the taxpayer. In Chautauqua county we are paying 15-20 times more than your county for the same service. These are nothing less than legalized public extortion and it has run rampant throughout this entire area. Teachers, police, firemen, attorneys, administrators, you name it and we are paying a premium compared to most anywhere else in the nation. The most absurd part of it all is this is a poverty stricken area. Most people are struggling to keep their heads above water.

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DKexpat

Apr-06-14 4:49 PM

Actually, there are a couple of school supers with compensation in Chau Cty (salary + benefits) over $200k/year: Fredonia = $212k, Jamestown = $231k.

Dunkirk = "only" $187k, Ripley (Ripley!?!) = $182k Cassadega = $181 - - and you can find the whole list (anyone over $128k must be disclosed by law) at nysed[dot]gov - look for "New York State Administrator Salary Disclosure."

For a couple of hundred kids in a district - is that nuts or what?

(We pay our county-wide super $232k + benefits -- but that's for 70,000+ students.)

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Captain

Apr-06-14 11:10 AM

Maybe commentor is just one of those fellas who believes in the phrase: "do as I say, not as I do."

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Christopher

Apr-06-14 10:56 AM

I assume commentor that you'll be abstaining from making any remarks about any local government until and unless you decide to "walk the walk"?

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Christopher

Apr-06-14 10:47 AM

The only way to make changes on a school board would be to run a slate of like minded candidates and to hold an absolute majority.

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commentor

Apr-06-14 10:40 AM

They will say whew the saved our a ss again. Continue on with the same poor spending habits and practices and live in denial that it will happen again next year. That ladies and gentlemen is school administration and school boards. As for the ones who always have the answers I agree get on the school board and try to make changes. It's easier to make excuses than walk the walk.

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tjefson

Apr-06-14 10:15 AM

Bob1957, the article said total compensation, not makes. A superintendents salary, health insurance and pension contribution by the taxpayers surely is over 200K a year for some of these superintendents. For crying out loud, there are teachers working 8 or 9 months out of the year raking in over 100K, plus all the bennies. Then we get woeful results for the money spent. Privatize education with vouchers and give the parents and children some control in where they will get their education. The Teachers Union will fight this with the last ounce of blood they have to make sure this never happens. The Teachers Union has evolved into a self serving organization that unscrupulously uses children to promote their selfish ambition.

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Christopher

Apr-06-14 10:03 AM

Jeanne, touch a nerve? Too bad. Run for a BOE!? You've got to be kidding me. They're all owned by the Teachers and Administration. I don't play well with others anyway. You join on my behalf, why don't you?

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bob1957

Apr-06-14 9:58 AM

should read: maybe 20

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bob1957

Apr-06-14 9:58 AM

Let's try some facts instead of way overestimating. Ripley doesn't have seniors anymore Chautauqua Lake HS does, they are tuitioned there. Ripley didn't have anywhere near 45 seniors maybe 2, maybe. Second, Not one single Superintendent of Schools, in this county, makes anywhere near $200,000, way overestimated. Facts are our smaller districts will not merge yet need to for better programming and fiscal economies. Yet no one will merge, saving that how about we look at other alternatives, tuition out students to a nearby district. Perhaps even districts could tuition HS students to one district and middle school students to the other. Maintaining school districts and Boards of Education thereby, local control maintained. It is not the best of all worlds but economies can be obtained, sharing of Superintendents is looked upon favorably by Albany now. We need to examine ways the public will support better economies and change. Albany shows no interest, to date, of determining mergers.

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Captain

Apr-06-14 9:55 AM

So that's how you see it, eh Jeanne, taxpayers or anyone else unwilling to run for office are nothing more than whiners? You ignore the merits of the complaint, and instead criticize the "complainer." If someone raises concerns about real problems, even offers possible suggestions and/or solutions, you dismiss it as meaningless unless it comes from an official or elected member? Sounds like PC struck a nerve, or it's personal. Either way, your comment ignores the issue, which is often typical of an official or elected member.

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tjefson

Apr-06-14 9:21 AM

Christoper, 2 days in a row. I agree with your comment, though I am sure you will not agree with mine because I will take your comment a couple steps further. You have identified the symptoms and now I will do my best to explain the disease.

What got us where we are? Primarily, who are the ones left making a decent overall compensation in this area. That would be the public servants, monopolies that have a stranglehold on the people living here. As we see, many people are voting with their feet and many of the ones who remain are part a public assistance program that provides a better quality of life than some people who are working.

The NY State Teachers Union will fight to keep these schools open. More teachers equates to more dues paying members. The Superintendents making over 200K a year in total compensation aren't going to do something that will eliminate their jobs. The takers have simply far outnumbered the makers. This collectivism is the root of the problem.

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Jeanne

Apr-06-14 8:42 AM

Christopher, you seem to always have all the answers. Instead of playing Monday Morning Quarterback, get out of your cozy armchair, roll up your sleeves and get elected to a local BOE and do something worthwhile. If you take no actions you are just a whiner!

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Jeanne

Apr-06-14 8:41 AM

Christopher, you seem to always have all the answers. Instead of playing Monday Morning Quarterback, get out of your cozy armchair, roll up your sleeves and get elected to a local BOE and do something worthwhile. If you take no actions you are just a whiner!

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Captain

Apr-06-14 8:40 AM

HAH!...like the FCS "Vision 2000" project? Blind people have better vision than that BOE. As do most schools, FCS relies much too heavily on state aid, and when the possibility that such aid can be reduced (like EVERY year), the BOE then blames the state for its own poor financial decisions.

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Christopher

Apr-06-14 8:25 AM

Vision? Ripley has what, 45 seniors, if that? They can't field any sports teams, yet they're spending $2 million dollars to fix a building that ought to close!!? Fredonia is in a pickle, worried about cuts, then receives a bunch of possibly one-shot money and says, "Forget the cuts"? My understanding is that Dunkirk receives money that other districts don't due to it's student body. It still spends hundreds of thousands it shouldn't by keeping satellite school buildings open. There isn't a school in the county doing right by it's citizens, financially,in my opinion.

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