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Story - Education

Apr 21, 2010 11:57 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Tuckahoe School Board adopts budget

Apr 21, 2010 11:57 AM

The Tuckahoe School Board adopted a $16.5 million budget on Monday that, if approved by voters on May 18, means the tax for a home assessed at $928,751 will rise from approximately $5,126 to approximately $5,504 according to district business official Ed Joseph. The proposed budget represents a $365,136, or 2.27-percent, increase over the current year’s budget of about $16.1 million.

Regardless of whether the budget passes in May, Tuckahoe plans to abolish 13 teaching assistant positions effective June 30. Interim Principal and Superintendent Brian McCarthy has maintained that only eight positions will be cut, which will save the district an estimated $336,000, and an additional five positions will be dropped through attrition.

Tuckahoe will no longer offer teaching assistants beyond the first grade, which Mr. McCarthy explained would bring it more in line with a number of other districts, including Southampton and Bridgehampton.

Approximately $22,000 is allotted in the budget for a shared curriculum coordinator through Eastern Suffolk BOCES, who would analyze all aspects of the curriculum following recent turmoil involving the district’s mathematics program.

Also on Monday, Tuckahoe awarded a contract to Cullen & Danowski LLP of Port Jefferson Station to provide the district with external audit services at a cost of $24,900 for 2010-11 and increasing in subsequent years.

COLLEEN REYNOLDS

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Regardless of what this board might say, there was an extra $150,000.00 spent to make up for the superintendent they forced out and they gave an undeserved 40% raise to Mr. Joseph's. Not to mention the purchase of two properties which are now worth nothing because there is no money to develop them and the property values have plummeted.

The board will say the money to buy out the old super and pay $750/day for the new came from the reserve, but this is misleading AND the reserve must be ...more
By setyoufree (69), Sag Harbor on Apr 26, 10 3:50 PM
Mr. McCarthy is worth his weight in gold. The teachers are happy, the kids love him, all the parents that I've spoken to think he's great and he is bringing much needed positive change to Tuckahoe School. You can't put a price tag on that! His experience and insight is proving to be invaluable. And about the property purchase, well that decision was in the hands of the community, and like it or not, the community was overwhelmingly in support of it. It wasn't purchased for it's short term value, ...more
By flyonthewall (30), Southampton on Apr 27, 10 8:04 PM
I am not bashing the district, but the mismanagement by the school board. Regardless of anyone's feelings for Mr. McCarthy, his hiring cost he school and additional $150,000.00 Period. You have not addressed that and the article is about budget. The properties may have been approved by the district but the idea was pushed by the board and it was an ill-conceived notion. Teaching assistants are NOT a luxury, but have made a real difference at our school. Also, you can't have it both ways. You ...more
By setyoufree (69), Sag Harbor on Apr 28, 10 8:03 AM
2 members liked this comment
Tell that to the teaching assistants who have lost their jobs. They are unemployed this June in an economy with no jobs or even subbing available. Luxury or not, they are people who have now joined the many others in collecting unemployment.
By hamptonteacher (13), East Hampton on Apr 28, 10 1:28 PM
Flyonthewall, You are like a fascist in the last days of Franco - desperately trying to cling on to your tyrannical rule while unsuccessfully attempting to glorify an ugly past. It is people like you who refuse to admit problems that are the real danger to this district. I like Mr. McCarthy too, but so what, he is only an interim superintendent hired at great cost to the district and, besides, many of us liked our last superintendent as well and "you can't put a price tag on that!" either- although ...more
By yearrounder (208), Southampton on Apr 28, 10 8:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
We have differing opinions on the past, that is my right, just as your opinion is your right. I have been in this school long enough to know that there are good things about it and not so good, but there is a group of you whose constant whining and complaining accomplishes nothing good. I did address the $150,000, I said it was well worth it, the school needed a major reorganizing/updating/reality check. I didn't comment on the business officials raise because I know little about it or him. ...more
By flyonthewall (30), Southampton on Apr 28, 10 7:46 PM
I don't know all the details of "the pay freeze" they offered the teachers and unless you do know all the facts- which you probably don't unless you are a member of the board or a teacher rep- maybe you shouldn't be blaming them for their fellow teachers lay offs.

'Coup' I don't see how saying they could' immediately be reelected to the board if they wanted to remain' as some nefarious plot.

By frayman (10), southampton on May 1, 10 7:34 PM
You are the one whining here, flyonthewall AND you are completely misrepresenting the relationship between teachers contracts and what happened to the teaching assistants - why? Because that is what this board would like everyone to believe and it is just too typical of your repeated attempts to reassign blame to the innocent. You should be ashamed.

Those I know who support teachers are more than happy to pay a tax increase because it benefits our kids. By the way, taxes ARE going up ...more
By setyoufree (69), Sag Harbor on Apr 29, 10 8:19 AM
3 members liked this comment
Well said, setyoufree, and exactly to the point. In the minds of this board and their supporters "everyone is expendable" to quote their former bff on the board. Some of us value teachers and I too would be more than happy to pay more taxes for TEACHERS but not for plans to create "extra storage" which was another worthless pursuit of this board's while issues of real import were being ignored. I understand there are three candidates for the up coming elections and I've gotta say that any one ...more
By lablover (104), Southampton on Apr 29, 10 3:29 PM
1 member liked this comment
Nice to know you guys are more than happy to pay more taxes, but many in our community can barely afford to live here any more. One (community supported) land purchase or one superintendents salary did not create that situation, and even if you feel that it did, you have to face the fact that you can't change the past. I would love to keep all the assistants and give teachers all they want, but these days we have to be realistic, not idealistic. Teachers all over long island are forgoing what ...more
By flyonthewall (30), Southampton on Apr 30, 10 10:28 PM
Regarding the costs of hiring an interim superintendent at $750.00/day you said, "he is bringing much needed positive change to Tuckahoe School. You can't put a price tag on that!"

You then bring up taxes and a couple of posters said they would be OK with a tax hike if the money was going towards our children's education, rather than legal fees an d personal vendettas and you say, "Nice to know you guys are more than happy to pay more taxes, but many in our community can barely afford to ...more
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on May 1, 10 6:21 PM
1 member liked this comment
If anything, the mistake was paying for the former superintendent not to work. I know you guys aren't happy about her leaving, but you don't complain about that bit of over-spending. Tell me this though, if we are losing 13 assistants, where are we losing them from? They will still be in place through 1st grade, that leaves grades 2-5 without assistants, 6, 7 and 8 doesn't have them. Two classes per grade, that makes 8 job cuts. I think one or two of those 8 classes are inclusion, so they will ...more
By flyonthewall (30), Southampton on May 1, 10 10:47 PM
The mistake of paying the former superintendent is exactly why people are mad at the board members.
I didn't care if they kept the past super or not but the two board members clearly cared enough to use tax payer money to buy her out. That's not good business that's bad blood.
By frayman (10), southampton on May 1, 10 11:26 PM
I think many of these same people would be just as upset if she were fired outright without a payout, but maybe you're right. On another note, the request to the teachers to accept a pay freeze was mentioned at a board meeting with teacher union reps present. I am definately not blaming the teachers for the layoffs, but making it clear that they did have an option if they felt the assistants were crucial to their job, and pay freezes are certainly not uncommon this year across Long Island. Lots ...more
By flyonthewall (30), Southampton on May 1, 10 11:52 PM