New Rochelle Board of Education is having yet another Budget Meeting at New Rochelle High School Library @ 7PM. Not sure of the specifics on the agenda, but it seems as if they will discuss program cuts, especially within our elementary schools. And of course, music & arts, which children need in their elementary development stages, may be on the chopping block. Funny how a City which claims to be so pro the arts, places the arts on the chopping block so quickly. There are many studies out there that show the vital importance of the arts in the elementary level and there are hundreds of children that participate within these programs throughout our district. Music and art are proven programs that reflect higher grades in those students that participate within the programs then those students who are not. By cutting the music and arts programs in the elementary schools, the Board of Education will be choking the middle and high school music and art programs in the near future. This will lead to more future layoffs due to enrollment and the death of a now vibrant program. The elementary music & art programs have seen positive growth over the last ten years.Read more
Talk of the Sound has learned that Margaret "Peg" Pecunia, Assistant Superintendent of the City School District of New Rochelle, will retire at the end of the 2011 School Year.
Pecunia's departure comes at a time of increasing criticism of Superintendent pay throughout New York. Pecunia was among those Superintendents getting a 4.5 pay increase while the district was firing staff and reducing pay increases for teachers last year.
Pecunia is the first Superintendent to leave the employment of the district, the since disgraced Fred Smith, in 2009. When Smith resigned his position with the district, the Board approved splitting up Smith's pay among the remaining Superintendents with the result that the remaining Superintendents salaries now exceed $200,000 a year, among the highest in the United States.Read more
Organisciak and the rest of the school board are out of their minds. And don’t think that they didn’t have their hand in the sudden “technical interruption” that surprisingly cut-off live streaming while one of New Rochelle’s residents was giving it to them good.
But everyone shouldn’t be surprised as the Board of Education always tries to censor taxpayers.
This meeting was a strange one. Surprisingly the main issue was about busing, how ridicules. It’s really not about busing; it’s about necessary budget cuts vs. unnecessary budget cuts.
Why is it necessary that supervisors get salary increases?
Why is it necessary that supervisors & department heads have unlimited expense budgets?
Why is it necessary that executives & supervisors are assigned city vehicles?
Why is it necessary that the Board of Education continues paying overtime to maintenance employees?Read more
Contractors have erected a fence around the church enclosing the entire property.
The right lane of traffic on Main Street will continue to be closed from Locust Avenue to the beginning of the Monroe College building. Locust Avenue will be closed from 11 Locust Avenue to Main Street also, until at least Monday February 21, 2011.
Parking will continue to be restricted on the north side of Main Street from North Avenue to LeCount Place until at least Monday February 21, 2011.
The sidewalk will be closed around the church property.
Fire investigation will begin on Friday.Read more
A late night visit to a property leased by the City School District of New Rochelle for use by the Buildings & Grounds department raised numerous questions about how the location is being managed by the district. Talk of the Sound made an unannounced visit to 47 Cliff Street, a parcel leased by the district from Nancy Lore of Pelham, between 2:00 AM and 3:00 AM on Friday, February 4th.
There was no activity at the school district yard but the main gates had been left wide open. There appeared to be no security measures beyond several flood lights which illuminated the yard.Read more
Under pressure from all sides to reign in out-of-control school spending, New Rochelle Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak appears to be losing his mind. This week Organisciak not only insulted New York Governor Andrew Cuomo but attacked New Jersey Governor Chris Christie with a school yard taunt, mocking the heavy set chief executive of the Garden State as "Krispy Kreme".
Organisciak, whose base salary for the 2010/2011 school year is $263,250, wasn’t done. He referred to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who also has spoken out against superintendent salaries, as “Krispy Kreme” and said Cuomo couldn’t be “King Cuomo the Second.”
The New Rochelle Board of Education will begin the 2011-2012 Budget Process tonight with the first of two Community Budget Forum and Input Session at the New Rochelle High School library. The events will take place on Thursday, February 10th at 7pm and Wednesday, March 2nd, also at 7pm.
For the first time, there will be a live broadcast. The meetings will also be broadcast live on NRED TV at Cablevision Channel 77 and Verizon Channel 30 and over the web on the nred.org web site. Talk of the Sound has been calling for live TV broadcasts of Board of Education meetings for years, others longer. Board members Deidre Polow and Mary Jane Reddington, among others, have opposed televising BoE meetings.
In March and April there will be a series of Budget Review Sessions. The Budget Vote & Election will take place in May.Read more
The Board of Education has posted something they are calling a New Rochelle School Budget Survey on their home page and promoted it by pitching the story to the Journal News. Apparently the district sent out a press release (but not to Talk of the Sound, as usual). In it, Organisciak says, "It is critical for us to hear from all constituencies about what is most vital to them as we look to make appropriate reductions in spending while maintaining the high quality of education that the New Rochelle community has come to expect."
First, the quality of education in New Rochelle is mediocre for the vast majority of students which may explain just 55% of black students and 51% of Latino students graduated on time according to the last graduation report issued by the State of New York in March 2010. It certainly explains why New Rochelle High School is no longer ranked in the annual Newsweek high school survey.Read more