Monday, February 27, 2012

Call to action; community budget forums to begin

Tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 28, the Watervliet City School District will begin a series of community forums designed to share information and gather feedback regarding the development of the 2012-13 budget.

In my last post, I discussed the inequitable distribution of state aid and how it hinders the efforts of school districts like Watervliet to provide the same opportunities other students in wealthier districts have. As a new superintendent, I promised my fight had only begun.  

By attending Tuesday’s forum, you too can join the fight by learning all you can about our budget and asking questions – of both the school district and our elected lawmakers in Albany.

I truly believe that public advocacy for equality in education spending is essential as we fight for students and their right to a top-notch education. In the video below, Dr. Rick Timbs, the executive director of the Statewide School Financial Consortium, urges all school district stakeholders to speak with one voice seeking equity.

I urge you to watch the video and attend at least one of our upcoming forums. Tuesday’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Watervliet Junior Senior High School Administrative Conference Room.

Other opportunities to learn about the budget include a Budget and Breakfast Forum scheduled for this Saturday, March 3. There, residents can learn about the 2012-13 budget, share ideas and enjoy a light breakfast prepared by Mr. Gaddy’s gourmet food and nutrition class at the high school. The breakfast forum begins at 10 a.m. in the high school cafeteria.

Also, on March 14 at 6:30 p.m. the Watervliet Elementary School PTA and UPK are sponsoring a 2012-13 Budget Q & A in the elementary school cafeteria. The Q and A will begin with an overview of the state's Property Tax Levy Cap presented by Shelly Levings, director of state aid and financial planning for Questar III BOCES.

These public budget forums are just one way you can help. Recently our board of education members and the Watervliet Teachers’ Association began a letter writing campaign to our elected representatives in Albany. Hundreds of letters have been collected already. You can download a sample letter here to mail to your representative.

Senator Neil Breslin
Albany Office
172 State St.
Room 413, Capitol
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-2225

Assemblyman Ronald Canestrari
Albany Office
LOB 926
Albany, NY 12248

1 comment: