Clarkstown Volunteer Committees Suggest School Budget Reductions

School Board President Mike Aglialoro spoke about committee recommendations to reduce the budget.
School Board President Mike Aglialoro spoke about committee recommendations to reduce the budget.

Clarkstown School Board President Mike Aglialoro said the participants in the Community Workshops, which looked at the district’s budget for 2014-2015, put forward several recommendations for cost savings. He said some of the suggestions were to eliminate or reduce academic courses and sports activities with low enrollment, change bus routes and look at Advance Placement courses and the role they play in the district’s reputation.

“We’re going to take these suggestions and recommendations into account as a board when we start the budget process in the next few weeks,” he said at Thursday’s board meeting.

Aglialoro said when the board has something more definitive; those ideas will be shared with the district’s principals and then students and parents. He said the volunteer groups held three meetings. One group looked specifically at the elementary schools and the other at the middle school and high schools.


Pat Godfrey January 24, 2014 at 02:51 PM
Finally reduce the budget. We all know this is what is needed. The budget is over 100 million dollars. We are among the highest taxed county in the country. Our school enrollment is going down. Of course this is what is needed.
Rockland Resident January 24, 2014 at 08:44 PM
The volunteers came up with a substantial list of potential cuts for the board to consider. Wendy and Michael (on the board) were great to work with, and provided all requested information promptly.
Robert Ward Kurkela January 24, 2014 at 09:22 PM
Great work Mike, Wendy and the volunteers from the community who gave their time to help with the budget.
Mike Hirsch January 24, 2014 at 10:43 PM
Mike Aglialoro did an enormous amount of work on this and learned a lot from all. He talked to the school principals, the teachers, and with the volunteers. Thank you Mike for taking on this thankless job. Alex could learn a lot by the way both you and Ed Day fulfill the duties of your offices.
Antonia Sambevski January 25, 2014 at 01:47 AM
I too was very happy when Mike suggested the community workshops but losing a few courses and bus routes. thats great but what about the other $11,900,000? Lets get real, these workshops are an appeasement effort to pretend the public is included in decisions and then Mike will go back into his executive meetings and do what he pleases. Public be damned.
Mike Hirsch January 25, 2014 at 09:18 AM
Antonia, I know Mike and most of the members of the school board. THEY ARE THE PUBLIC. They are volunteers who do a lot of work for free. That is not their attitude at all. I participated in the workshops. They were a LEARNING EXPERIENCE for all concerned, most of all Mike, because he did the most work. Of course he and the board will do what they think is best. That is what they were elected to do.
Antonia Sambevski January 25, 2014 at 11:33 AM
They were the public when they ran. Now they are arrogant people with power. ( I am not referring to all board members) If you were there, please let me know of just one possible proposal that might come from these meetings because at Thursdays meeting Mike did not articulate any.
Rockland Resident January 25, 2014 at 01:10 PM
Reduction in the # of teaching assistants (could save millions.) Increasing class sizes. Closing a school. Combining high schools. Reducing bussing for both CCSD students and private school students. Closing the district to out of district students. Sharing librarians and librarian assistants. Reducing the middle and high-school sports programs in various ways. Probably a dozen more concepts. You can call it "appeasement" if you'd like, but the board now has plenty of ideas to work with that could save in the millions.
Robert Ward Kurkela January 25, 2014 at 01:36 PM
Mike Hirsch, you are absolutely correct. Great post.
Clarkstown Dad January 25, 2014 at 02:04 PM
Roc Res .... nice answer. Sorry its probably falling on deaf ears to the emotional Congers supporters though. There is arrogance on the Board but I'm sure I see it in different members than she does.
AnnieRose January 25, 2014 at 02:11 PM
Roc res..if you pullout the bussing of private school students, your suggestions sounds like East Ramapo School District..Now, there's a plan!
AnnieRose January 25, 2014 at 02:18 PM
C- dad...enough with the emotional supporter snark....having civic pride in our community is a good thing..That school is the center of our town, a great town. I'll be voting Yes.
Antonia Sambevski January 25, 2014 at 04:03 PM
Clarkstown Dad you are rude and mistaken. I am not emotional or actually involved except for the fact that my mother still lives and owns a home in Congers and I have friends there. I care that the town of Congers not be mishandled, perhaps irreparably, due to mismanagement by the BOE. I heard about what was happening. I attended meetings and have done research. Do you recall Mikes review of the workshops at Thursdays meeting? He mentioned AP classes discussing class sizes and closing classes and sports with low population. Why did he withhold the items you mentioned? I agree class sizes need to be increased; on the primary level to 20/1 and the high school level to at least 16/1. That would allow the ability to remove over 90 teachers at a savings of $7 million a year. Teacher salaries and benefits are where the real money saving is not TA's. Do that, Then look to redistrict but review all the schools and make smart decision. The school board jumped at this opportunity to close a school and to try to look fiscally responsible.
Rockland Resident January 25, 2014 at 05:01 PM
Antonia, the allowable class size limits are already that high. They are much higher than the current actual number of students per class. The reason is because they are stretched out across too many schools. For example, if you have a class size limit of 20...and two first-grade classes of 15 in School A, and two more in school B, there is no consolidating you can do. however if all kids in school A were redistricted to school B, you can do 3 sections of 20 each and save on one section. This is obviously an overly simplistic example but redistricting produces substantial savings only after closing a building. If Congers is closed, the children of Congers will still be in Clarkstown schools - just a different actual school. As far as to why Michael didn't mention more ideas - the community workshops only finished recently, and the board members that ran them are working on preparing the ideas for the rest of the board before they choose which ideas to bring to the community.
Standing citizen January 25, 2014 at 05:12 PM
Do you realize that 7mil a year from laying off 90 teachers is approximately a saving of $60-75 a household on taxes. Realize what your sacrificing for the 1 cup of coffee your saving a month
Rockland Resident January 25, 2014 at 05:17 PM
I'm not sure wheeler that number comes from. However we simply can't afford what we are spending. We are spending more than we are bringing in. And we pay enough taxes. Cuts are needed.
Rockland Resident January 25, 2014 at 05:18 PM
That was supposed to be "where" not "wheeler".
Clarkstown Dad January 25, 2014 at 07:22 PM
Annie ... Congratulations and as indicated before we will see if financial responsibility or emotion wins out. Let the public decide. Antonia .... so you feel its more important to lay off more teachers than to close a building to achieve the financial goal. If I worked in the district I sure hope the Board/Super do not feel that way. Layoffs appear to be inevitable but I would rather they be minimized ....... playing with people's livelihood is a serious matter ...... I would lean more towards better class sizes in fewer schools/buildings . BTW if you had a clue about what Mike has personally done for this district including the money he has personally spent you would be embarrassed so I guess you haven't done enough research.


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