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Letter: Vote Yes for School Budget

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – TheDailyPortChester.com accepts original, signed letters to the editor. Letters may be emailed to llavoie@mainstreetconnect.us .

Letter to the Editor:

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE “YES” FOR SCHOOL BUDGET ON MAY 15th

Developing a budget during difficult economic creates many challenges and think that we should recognize the efforts done by the board of education, superintendent, business office, bargaining unit and employees of the district since to develop a cost effective budget requires the collaboration, insightfulness and efforts of all parties involved.  Many of you are already aware of all of the successes that our school district has had.  This includes being named a Blue Ribbon school district and all of the reasons (qualitative) why we need to support the budget.  These successes were achieved despite having the lowest funds available per student to accomplish this.

Again, for fiscal year 2012-2013, Port Chester has the LOWEST proposed budget per student in both Westchester and Putnam counties.  Of the 40 schools districts in Westchester and Putnam that submitted a property tax report card and budget to New York State, our school district is again the LOWEST.  We have been the lowest for the last several years, and continue to be for this upcoming year.  The average budget per student for 2011-2012 for Port Chester is $18,321, which is the lowest score and is 28% below the average school in Westchester and Putnam.  We are also the lowest in other regions.  No other school is below $20,000.00 per student (the next lowest school is $21,470, which is more than $3,000 higher than our district).  The average district in Westchester and Putnam has more than $7,000 per student above what our district has.

The community needs your vote of YES for the budget.  With limited funds, the district has to balance not only the quality of education but make difficult cost cutting decisions.   Many of you are aware of the challenges with kindergarten (half vs. full day), the reading program and other pertinent education programs.  Unfortunately none of those decisions are easy ones and limited funding makes those decisions more difficult.  The district is doing its best to manage these programs, and we continually ask the district to do more with less.  A vote of NO puts other current and future pertinent programs at risk.

Despite having the LOWEST per student budget, we have kept pace in education.  The polls open May 15h and our community needs your support so vote for your desired Board of Education candidate but more importantly make sure you cast a vote of “YES” for our school budget and our kids.

Sincerely,

Michael Frank

Port Chester Parent

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