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Sep 9, 2014 10:45 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton School District To Host Meeting On Thursday To Discuss Potential Merger With Tuckahoe

Sep 9, 2014 4:12 PM

The Southampton School Board has scheduled a public meeting on Thursday evening for a community discussion of the proposed merger with the Tuckahoe School District.

The meeting comes one week after Southampton School Board members announced that while many of them say they are still in favor of the long-discussed annexation of the neighboring district, they want to hear from the community whether this is a plan worth moving forward with.

The Southampton and Tuckahoe school districts have for several years been discussing a merger to alleviate a bleak financial future for Tuckahoe, but no action was taken until October 2012, when the two districts commissioned a merger study. A plan that outlined details for the Southampton School District to annex Tuckahoe was approved by State Education Commissioner John B. King’s office in August 2013. Voters in the two districts were able to cast the first of several votes on the proposal—and in the first round, the plan was overwhelmingly approved by Tuckahoe voters but rejected by voters in the Southampton School District.

According to a posting on the Southampton schools website last week, the point of this week’s meeting is to formally present the proposal to the community and increase taxpayers’ understanding of the proposal, which would annex the Tuckahoe District into the Southampton district.

“After extensive review of the financials and new state legislation, the Southampton School District Board of Education is considering putting forward to voters an annexation of the Tuckahoe Common School District under a new, revised merger concept,” the statement reads. “The BOE and Dr. Farina would like to invite community members to the table to discuss the proposed merger concept and to plan ways to increase wider community understanding of the facts and support outcomes related to an annexation.”

The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 11, at 6 p.m. in the Southampton Intermediate School cafeteria. At the meeting, the board and District Superintendent Dr. Scott Farina will present the new merger concept, ask to hear public opinion on the proposal, and determine if there is enough interest to move forward with scheduling votes for or against the annexation.

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Repackaged tax increase for Southampton, no thanks.
By April1 (156), Southampton on Sep 9, 14 3:43 PM
It's going to be a tax increase for Southampton residents anyway when the state swoops in and forces the districts to merge.... and then it will be an even bigger tax increase.
By pvalk6 (32), Southampton on Sep 9, 14 5:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
The state has no right to merge districts you need a referendum.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 9, 14 5:25 PM
Understanding that in the end the state will mandate what they feel is the best for the dual districts, the correct course of action for all involved is to navigate the merger and accept that fact that in the end it is going to happen.
By surfmat (15), Southampton on Sep 9, 14 5:26 PM
2 members liked this comment
You are incorrect Chief. The state would rather we work this out on our own, and have offered incentives to do so. Governor Cuomo wants this, local state politicians went as far as having a bill passed in Albany specifically to help make this happen, because they want it. We have a school district about to go broke that wants it. Do you really think that Tuckahoe residents are going to start the process all over and do the required long and expensive feasibility study to merge with Hampton ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 9, 14 6:19 PM
How in the world would Tuckahoe "go broke"??? I sounds as if your Board has been taking you down the wrong road(s) for far too long. It is ridiculous to blame your troubles on your neighbors.
By East End 2 (151), Southampton on Sep 10, 14 7:58 PM
I guess you don't get out much. Tuckahoe doesn't have enough money to run the school and there is a tax cap law in place. The blame partly goes to high school tuition costs being charged to Tuckahoe for years, combined with Tuckahoe's low tax base and smaller economy. No, I don't think it's all Southampton's fault (and never said that it was, you made that up), but the tuition was part of the equation.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 10, 14 9:58 PM
1 member liked this comment
Chief, one thing that we are sure of, Tuckahoe SD will not exist for long, but our kids will still go to school. In the very short term, how this happens is in the hands of the Southampton SD voters. After that, it will be in the hands of the state. Southampton will EASILY be the only logical place for the kids, (especially with a good portion of our kids there already), and that's exactly where the state will put the Tuckahoe kids. If you believe otherwise, you're fooling yourself. Think about ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 9, 14 6:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
Why would I vote yes to this and have my kids who live within walking distance to the elementary school, be bused to Tuckahoe??? Why would I vote yes to this when my taxes are going to go through the roof??? Why doesn't the governor and all the others who are so in favor of this work to change the way golf courses are considered in the tax structure???? Sorry, Tuckahoe had their chance a long time ago and they turned it down..why do I have to pick up their bill???? SH tried very hard to consolidate ...more
By sandydog21 (195), Southampton on Sep 9, 14 7:32 PM
Sandy, in the long run, where do you really, truly think the Tuckahoe kids are going to wind up when the school closes?
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 9, 14 7:56 PM
Actually your fooling yourself. There are 90% of Southampton voters against this consolidation. No state politician in their right mind will take on such an issue that is hated.
Why do southampton taxpayers have to basically bailout Tuckahoe for their decades of mismanagement? Tuckahoe has major problems with illegal housing and overflowing motel rooms. They need to correct their issues not burdeon southampton residents
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 9, 14 10:53 PM
1 member liked this comment
That is a completely incorrect statement. I've lived here for over 34 years and have spoken to many on this subject and there are very few people I know who are not in support of this merger. It is long past time. It should be happening with all of the tiny, antiquated districts on the East End. This one is just the most obvious ones. Your 90% number is not in any way accurate.
By Rickenbacker (257), Southampton on Sep 10, 14 8:21 AM
And stick to the facts please Chief. In Southampton, 1,768 people voted, with 693 voting yes and 1,075 opposing. That would mean a 40% support rate and that was before legislation sweetened the deal. It is a fact that people who oppose speak the loudest. They also tend to spread inflammatory false information (and figures) to support their claims.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 10, 14 10:07 PM
Tuckahoe has cut staff by over 20% and has a residency officer who works to verify that kids live in the district. Tuckahoe does not have the authority to close the motels. Where do you see this going chief? What happens when Tuckahoe cannot pay its bills? We are talking about the very near future. Do you think the state is going to just send kids home to be schooled by their parents?
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 9, 14 11:07 PM
That's the absolute last thing the state would want is an entire district to be taught by their parents. How would the state track their BMI, what they ate? The state needs to continue their influence over these little minds and continue with indoctrinating them with common core and the state mandated "social & emotional" learning.
By April1 (156), Southampton on Sep 10, 14 8:46 AM
I was being sarcastic. Of course they will not all be sent home to learn. They will be sent somewhere though, unless the Regional HS idea flies. If that happens I suppose Southampton High is at risk of losing both Tuckahoe and Reservation $$$. Then your taxes will really fly.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 10, 14 1:28 PM
You are making utterly foolish statements. It is not helping to convert anyone to your side.
By East End 2 (151), Southampton on Sep 10, 14 8:00 PM
A very general statement. Perhaps you would like to elaborate?
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 10, 14 9:54 PM
If any consolidation is to be done it should be an East End Regional HS. Chief is correct..there is none to very little support in SH to merge with Tuckahoe today. It's a losing proposition for SH..period!!
By sandydog21 (195), Southampton on Sep 10, 14 10:28 AM
The Southampton school board is wasting very valuable time on something its residents don't want. How about you guys figure out how to raise test scores and how to facilitate students learning. The board needs to resign because they are out of touch with student needs.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 10, 14 5:56 PM
Valuable time? Are you talking about these volunteers who spend hours doing this for no money at all? The problem in Southampton is the lack of parental participation in their children's education.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 10, 14 10:29 PM
I'm a Tuckahoe Grad and SHS alum from 1971. I'm really not qualified to chime in as I moved away 25 years ago, but I'll do so anyway. It seems Tuckahoe has changed quite a bit since my time there. It must have been difficult for them to absorb those from away that spoke different languages and lived in different ways. No wonder the cost of schooling there rose so quickly. Still, it remains a district of working people many of whom service the needs of Village and Town residents. I just don't ...more
By Frost (2), Essex on Sep 10, 14 6:28 PM
Thank you Frost. Sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees and outside opinions are a breath of fresh air. I think most outsiders would cringe at what's going on here. Tuckahoe has risen to the occasion when it came to educating the immigrants. They are here, and until those who have the power of enforcement say otherwise, they need to be educated. A future Southampton filled with uneducated immigrants would be a disaster.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 10, 14 10:24 PM