New Rochelle Board of Education, Please Save Our Children

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The past two Board of education meetings have been dominated by public speakers on the sole issue of out of district busing for student enrolled in private schools, primarily to the SAR Academy in Riverdale, NY and The French American School in Larchmont, NY. Both schools are wonderful and are highly respected institutions and many New Rochelle residents would love to send their children there, but…and this is where it gets interesting, tuition at both this institutions cost over $21,000 per student per academic year. The SAR Academy’s tuition for K-8 is an astonishing $21,300, plus a $4,000 building fund per family per year. The French American School’s tuition for k-8 is a whopping $21,400 - $23,420 (depending on grade), plus an additional $2,000 per student per year for ESL.

Now, if you can afford to send your children to any of these schools, you make more than enough to pay for busing your child to and from your home to the school. For that tuition, the school should include busing for those that need it.
Enough with the empty threats that if busing isn’t provided, your family will leave New Rochelle. Where will you go, Larchmont? Scarsdale? If you could have left New Rochelle, you would have done so already.

Enough with using the term “diversity” in your grand standing. Everyone knows that children play with children in their neighborhoods, associations and schools, so please spare everyone the false dramatization of little league and soccer. We all know there are two, yes 2, little leagues in New Rochelle, one for the North End one for the South End.

Let’s get to the real issues of the Boards budget cuts that really matter. The issues that affect each and every student, the layoffs of many vital and necessary teachers and the dismantling of programs that students, teachers and parents cherish deeply.

Laying off teachers is a bad decision that will render serious negative repercussions that will affect our children’s futures. Increasing class size decreases a child’s educational development. Teachers will no longer be able to pinpoint developmental issues of each and every student in their class. The larger classes will create more distractions for students, limiting their educational development. And what about special needs students and ESL students that are in the mainstream classes, what will happen to them? They are already at a disadvantage. By laying off teachers and increasing class sizes, the disadvantaged will be lost. There is no win-win in laying off teachers. They are the front line soldiers in the battle to educate our children. To just say, “get rid of some” is an atrocity that negatively impacts each and every New Rochelle student.

The elimination of vital, necessary programs that increase mental development in our children’s minds is a horrific injustice for all involved. All students enrolled within these programs will ultimately be devastated. Many of these programs are all that most of our students have to look forward to. These programs allow students to express themselves, either thru music, art, sports, etc… Many parents of these students lack the funding for private programs. How can any board member sleep knowing that they have literally robbed these students and parents of these students of their dreams?

The Board must once again return to the drawing board and develop a better budget proposal then the current. Main areas that strongly should be considered:
Maintenance and ground crews (keeping track of actual work hours), vehicles (those assigned to supervisors, management & superintendents), travel & entertainment expenses (rumors have it that Organisciak’s estimated monthly, tax payer paid, expenses are in the $10,000 to $12,000 range, rather high wouldn’t you say?), Gas/Fuel reimbursement for those issued Board of Education vehicles (vehicles that are also used for personal use), and the list can go on and on.

The point is that the Board of Education should look at real world reductions, reductions that actually save money now and in the future. Placing band aids over issues don’t permanently fix issues, eventually the band aid falls off and now there’s an infection to deal with.

Please, we all are pleading with all the members of the Board of Education, please do the right thing for our children enrolled in our public schools. You cannot turn a blind eye on the future of our students with rash decisions made today.

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

McNulty on Thu, 03/10/2011 - 02:29

Re: "We all know there are two, yes 2, little leagues in New Rochelle, one for the North End one for the South End".
Why is that? Why does YBNR exist when it's not part of the Little League organization?
I've always wondered and have never gotten a straight answer.

YBNR on Thu, 03/10/2011 - 20:17

YBNR has been around for close to 30 years and is one of the largest Rec Baseball programs in the state of New York. We have close to 1,000 children who register for our programs during our Spring Season, as well as other programs year-round.

Why does it exist? YBNR provides an alternative to New Rochelle. NRLL is a terrific league that has earned its good reputation. We like to think that we do a great job as well. There are some differences between NRLL and YBNR however. For example, NRLL follows national Little League rules while YBNR is an independent league, allowing us to govern ourselves. This allows YBNR flexibility in setting rules, which govern safety and competition. Parents and children choose whichever league they believe is best for them!

YBNR tends to draw most of its registrants from the North End of New Rochelle because most of our games are played on North End fields. However, we’re by no means a “north end league”. Nor do I believe is NRLL a “south end league”. YBNR has many kids from the South End of New Rochelle, and I’m pretty sure NRLL has many north enders who choose to play with them.

In the end, YBNR and NRLL I believe peacefully co-exist, providing a choice for the residents of New Rochelle.

David Reifer
President, YBNR

Political Forechecker's picture
Political Forec... on Thu, 03/10/2011 - 23:56
Title: YBNR

My son played all the way through Seniors and it was a great experience in every aspect. Many years I had the pleasure of helping out one way or another. Coaching, assistant coaching, raking fields or just keeping the book and chasing foul balls. Truly YBNR has the right values baseball and non baseball included. We did not always win but we always excelled, developed in all aspects. Funny you should say North End fields that would include only Pine Brook and Ward with the occasional game at Albert Leonard but we also played many a season at Lincoln Field and many a game at Trinity and also many a game at 5th avenue park. It was all good, when you are at those games you appreciate what is right with New Rochelle. Many great dedicated people with the right approach to rec sports.

southside man on Thu, 03/10/2011 - 00:57

They pay taxes for schools they are not using, the
least you can do is give them a bus ride!!!!

ladyjustice on Thu, 03/10/2011 - 01:10

Parents of children who do not live in New Rochelle and are in the school system should be paying their tuition or maybe NR BOE should bill NYC for their children in our schools.

Fifth Ave Guy on Wed, 03/09/2011 - 17:52

Are they talking at all about concessions from the teacher's union? Teachers making over $100k is absurd, especially for 180 days of work less sick days. And that's only salary, not bringing pensions and health care into the fold. Cuts need to be made in back office, administrative positions 1st, like the assistant superintendents and the coordinator (of what i dont know) at my kids elementary school. I bet if we got rid of the top 20 earners we could save close to $5 million without affecting the classrooms.

Let the private schoolers bitch and moan all they want. I hope they come out in droves and the budget gets rejected. That would be refreshing, very refreshing.

The school board could also eliminate the unperdicability of our tax increases by simply using the assessment roll from Aug. 1 of previous year. For example, in May 2010 we approved a budget with a 3.8% increase, however the increase turned out to be 5.2% (go ahead & check your bills if you have them but most don't) not the 3.8% that we approved. I can only imagine where the proposed 4.5% increase will actually end at. If we use last years 40% error as a standard, that pushes the proposed 4.5% increase to 6.3%. By proposing a 4.5% right off the bat, it makes me think Quinn, Organisciak and the board are a little out of touch with reality and therefore not deserving of any of ours votes.

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