Clarkstown Board of Education President Mike Aglialoro asked
residents at Tuesday night’s school board meeting to consider volunteering for
budget workshops. He told the hundreds of people at the meeting that the
district was facing major financial issues and community input would be an important
part of the decision making process for the next school year budget.
A letter officially requesting volunteers was emailed to Clarkstown school district parents and guardians today. However, the offer to join the workshops as a participant or observer is open to all residents of the school district. The school board will select participants. The first workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m.
This is the text of the letter.
September 27, 2013
Dear Clarkstown Residents:
At the September 24th Clarkstown Board of Education meeting, I announced that the Board of Education will be seeking volunteers to participate in community workshops. This correspondence is to provide you additional information regarding this opportunity and the rationale for the creation of these important working groups.
From past school budget presentations and continuing media reports, you are no doubt aware of the extreme financial pressures faced by school districts across New York State and here in Clarkstown. We are facing unprecedented fiscal challenges and the economic realities of unfunded state mandates, skyrocketing employee health care and pension costs, the condition of our aging facilities, and the imposition of a 2% property tax cap. In addition, the district's reserve funds, which have been used to supplement prior budgets shortfalls, are near depletion.
Difficult choices need to be made to close the gap between revenue and expenses, while ensuring the delivery of excellent educational services for our children. The decisions we will make in the coming months will impact the future of our school district, its employees and our local communities.
The workshops will serve as one venue to have the community work with the Board and District administrators to collectively shape the district's future and identify solutions to our fiscal challenges. The workshops will consist of two subgroups of 10 to 15 members each. The goal is to have groups comprised of a broad cross-section of the community with varying expertise and points of view. One of these subgroups will be charged with looking at options at our elementary schools and the other at our middle school and high schools.
The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 15th at 7:00 pm at the Chestnut Grove District Office, 62 Old Middletown Road, New City, NY.
If you would like to be a workshop volunteer, please email District Clerk Lilyane Lorusso at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, October 4, 2013 or call for more information at (845) 639-6455. Please provide your name, address, phone number, and email. If you have students in the district, provide the name of the school(s) they attend.
If you have a particular expertise or experience that you would like to highlight, please share that information. You may also include a resume if you choose.
We have difficult work ahead. Our collective engagement will help ensure decisions are made in the best interests of all of our students and community members.
On behalf of the Board of Education, thank you for your support.
Board of Education