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Dec 2, 2014 4:09 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays, Westhampton Beach Open To Taking On Tuckahoe Students

Dec 3, 2014 9:43 AM

With voters in the Southampton School District last month striking down a proposed merger with the Tuckahoe Common School District for the second time in as many years, cash-strapped Tuckahoe might look to the west for a solution its problems.

Across the Shinnecock Canal are two suitors open to taking on Tuckahoe’s high school-age children, as well as the millions of dollars in tuition that come with them.

Westhampton Beach Superintendent Michael Radday and Hampton Bays Superintendent Lars Clemensen both said they have the space to take on the roughly 140 high school students residing in the Tuckahoe School District, assuming Tuckahoe would be willing to pay tuition. Both administrators said it’s too early to discuss a potential merger without doing studies—but neither ruled it out.

Prior to signing an exclusive tuition agreement with the Southampton School District two years ago, Tuckahoe allowed its ninth-graders to choose between Westhampton Beach High School and Southampton High School. Students already attending Westhampton Beach after the exclusive tuition agreement were given the option of remaining there to finish their high school education; currently, there are 14 seniors and nine juniors from Tuckahoe still attending Westhampton Beach.

The Westhampton Beach and Tuckahoe boards of education met Monday night to discuss their options moving forward. Mr. Radday said the discussions were “very preliminary,” but that Westhampton Beach said it would like to be a part of Tuckahoe’s long-term solution.

“We’ve always welcomed the Tuckahoe students and provided them with world-class learning opportunities,” Mr. Radday wrote in an email. “We look forward to doing so in the future.

“Ultimately,” he continued, “unless Southampton steeply discounts its tuition, we are able to provide Tuckahoe students with outstanding educational opportunities at a lower cost.”

Westhampton Beach’s out-of-district annual tuition rate is $20,851, but Mr. Radday said the district offers a $500-per-student discount to districts with exclusive tuition agreements with Westhampton Beach, including the Quogue, East Quogue, Speonk-Remsenburg and East Moriches school districts.

Southampton, on the other hand, charges tuition of $21,263 per pupil, per year, meaning, on a base level, Southampton would collect $2.98 million in tuition for taking on 140 Tuckahoe high schoolers, while Westhampton Beach would bring in $2.85 million in tuition. That would be a roughly 4.4 percent savings for Tuckahoe. Both districts charge a higher tuition rate for special needs students to cover the costs of additional services and programs.

Meanwhile, Hampton Bays would be the most cost-effective option for Tuckahoe, as that district would charge about $17,374 per high school student, based on the State Department of Education’s recommendation from 2012-13, Mr. Clemensen said, meaning a total tuition bill for Tuckahoe of about $2.4 million. Currently, Hampton Bays has only two children, both from a single family living in the Red Creek neighborhood on the north side of Hampton Bays, for whom tuition is paid to the Hampton Bays School District, as their neighborhood is technically part of the Riverhead School District. No Tuckahoe high school students currently attend classes in Hampton Bays.

Mr. Clemensen said he believes Hampton Bays would be well-equipped to handle Tuckahoe students because both districts have similar demographics, each consisting of student bodies that are more than half Latino, with large numbers of immigrant and non-native speakers.

“I do think we’re well equipped to meet really diverse students—we have students who are language learners, we have students with learning disabilities, and we have a wide variety of programs to serve all students,” he said. “I think Tuckahoe students would be well-served by a Hampton Bays education, just as Hampton Bays kids are.”

Both administrators said they would likely have to use some of the tuition money to hire additional teachers, and Mr. Clemensen said his district might have to consider having teachers share classrooms during different periods of the day, which is something they don’t currently do.

Beyond tuition agreements, there exists the possibility that Tuckahoe could explore a merger with either Westhampton Beach or Hampton Bays. Under current state law, there are several options for a merger, including combining two or more school districts to create a new district, as was the case in Eastport South Manor, or a bigger district annexing the smaller district into the existing structure, which was attempted with Southampton. If Tuckahoe was to attempt a merger with either Hampton Bays or Westhampton Beach, it is more likely to be annexed, eliminating the one-school district altogether.

For a merger with Hampton Bays, the process would be the same as the failed Southampton merger, since the neighboring districts have contiguous borders. Both communities would require two referendums with a favorable majority for the merger to be complete. A merger between Westhampton Beach and Tuckhaoe would be a much more detailed process, because legislation would have to be drawn up at the state level allowing for two districts that do not share a border to merge. Once that legislation was approved, the process would be the same and require a straw vote and a final vote.

Despite the openness of both districts, Tuckahoe Superintendent Chris Dyer said the number-one option remains trying to make a merger work with Southampton.

“We discussed our hope to pursue a merger with Southampton as a first option,” Mr. Dyer said of his board of education’s meeting on Monday night. “Our board chairman has reached out to Southampton’s board prior to our meeting with Westhampton Beach last night.”

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It doesn't matter if Tuckahoe sends it's students to WHB or Hampton Bays, and saves 150k it will not help their fiscal situation. Tuckahoe refuses to cut salaries, and thinks the Superintendent deserves a 20% raise! The school doesn't need a superintendent, and a principal. It also can't sustain having classes with less than 15 students in them. This school has built a fiscal nightmare, and the same characters are still in charge. Hampton Bays, and Westhampton would be crazy to merge with Tuckahoe, ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Dec 5, 14 10:14 AM
1 member liked this comment
Chief, you have been very vociferous, and I believe that underneath all the tough talk brought on by the necessity of being attacked from all angles your ideas are solid. One question. If I am boiling water for pasta, do you recommend putting salt in the water or no?
By Molly65 (5), Southampton on Dec 5, 14 1:44 PM
Chief you makes sense. No one wants to hear the truth. They think the District prints the $$ in the basement.
By realistic (472), westhampton on Dec 5, 14 2:39 PM
Yeah Molly someone has to speak up. Its all for the kids right? Teachers keep getting raises and education keeps plummeting into the gutter. Tuckahoe is broke but the superintendent feels he needs a 20% raise. People like you will wake up one day when you cant afford the taxes and say the locals are being treated unfairly. If its for the kids why would Hampton Bays take more students and make classes larger? Its more teachers more perks more money. Never do you hear how all this will help with ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Dec 5, 14 4:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
That would be a comma after ''Molly'', an apostrophe in ''It's'', an apostrophe in ''can't'', an apostrophe in ''it's'', another apostrophe in ''it's'' and the last sentence has a verb conflict. Couple these patterns with the wild inaccuracies and pathological hypberbole that litter your emotionally spent posts -one would question whether your time would be better obsessing on your own education as opposed to the education of people for whom you hold bitter disdain.
By Molly64 (15), Southampton on Dec 7, 14 9:27 AM
If Tuckahoe is so "cash-strapped" then how can they support giving the superintendent a $32,000 raise? It makes no sense. Perhaps the board president, at his age, is having trouble with his reasoning and needs to step down.
By hamptonite (26), hamptons on Dec 5, 14 6:27 PM
2 members liked this comment
According to Newsday, that Tuckahoe super is the lowest paid Superintendent on Long Island. Lower than Sag Harbor, Shelter Island, Speonk, Southold etc. Only one cheaper is E. Quogue and that's because he is part-time. If the Tuckahoe super is a vet, chances are he doesn't require health insurance. Southampton super receives $35,000 in benes per year with a salary at just about one-quarter of a million dollars.
By Molly65 (5), Southampton on Dec 6, 14 6:57 AM
Hampton Bays should study the issue of merging with Tuckahoe. The districts border each other, and it could be beneficial for both districts. It may assist in in reducing the already high school taxes residents in the Hampton Bays School District must pay.
By Jimion (129), Hampton Bays on Dec 5, 14 7:08 PM
Hampton Bays is getting too crowded as it is......
By honeylamb (71), East Quogue on Dec 5, 14 7:43 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By nazznazz (276), east hampton on Dec 5, 14 11:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
I'm very concerned that the Southampton Mariner sports teams will no longer be able to compete at the Varsity level. Once all the Tuckahoe kids leave, the JV sporting programs will need to be shut down. My mistake on the pasta question, I thought you were a "chef" but it says "chief". My eyesight is going.
By Molly65 (5), Southampton on Dec 6, 14 6:45 AM
Your worried about sports? How about worrying about students that cant compete academically, and aren't prepared for real life?
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Dec 6, 14 8:59 AM
Do you read this stuff prior to hitting ''submit"? It's ''You're'' and not the possessive ''your''. You missed another apostrophe on ''can't'' and you really only have to be awake during the daytime hours to see the stellar achievements from graduates of Southampton High. Those that go onto colleges excel at the highest levels of academia. Many who do not go to university run extremely successful family businesses that employ thousands in this area.

You would be wise to heed the words ...more
By Molly64 (15), Southampton on Dec 7, 14 9:33 AM
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

"You must unlearn what you have learned."

~ Yoda.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Dec 8, 14 8:19 AM
1 member liked this comment
Chief1...it is very easy to rant about how concerned you are about the poor education you think these kids are getting at Tuckahoe and Southampton. What evidence do you have? You do realize there are huge challenges in both districts with the influx of immigration, correct? You sit in your soapbox like you have akk the answers. You continue saying info that is incorrect such as Tuckahoe having classes no more than 15 kids. It aint so. When was the last time you stepped into Tuckahoe? Do you even ...more
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Dec 6, 14 9:25 AM
crack down on illegal housing and illegal immigrants and the 140 students will most likely drop to 14
By llimretaw (118), watermill on Dec 6, 14 9:28 AM
Really infoseeker some classes don't have fewer than 15 kids? You better check your facts. How do I know kids aren't getting a proper education? Maybe the test scores, and the leadership resisting the more difficult common core.
Ask yourself this. Why would Hampton Bays which has a high tax rate, and similar problems of Tuckahoe merge? You cant merge two problem districts to get a solution.
Finally after all the soap boxing by Mr Dyer on fiscal responsibility why does he take a 20% ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Dec 6, 14 10:44 AM
1 member liked this comment
cheif, I will guarantee that if you sat down with my fourth graders common core math homework for one night, not only would you not get it right, but you would change your tune. It's not that it's harder, its a ridiculous way of teaching. Do you have any kids in school? I agree wholeheartedly with you complaint that tuckahoe cries poverty than gives their super a hefty raise, but some of your other arguments are misguided.
By bubby (236), southampton on Dec 6, 14 3:55 PM
Common core is a joke.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Dec 9, 14 12:30 AM
Chief1, did you read what I said...the challenges are affecting the test scores and as far as the leadership resistant to Common Core, that is both the parents and educators in most schools in the country. I still don't know of any small classes (15 or less). Typical class size is 24.
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Dec 6, 14 2:37 PM
Chief has no idea what he's talking about...classes of 14? Not at Tuckahoe. With the amount of time Mr. Dyer puts in at the school he's probably earning $20 an hour. Tuckahoe faces an uncertain future, and if it took more money to keep an experienced person at the top, than so be it. We cannot possibly go forward with an unexperienced superintendent. The raise will pay for itself easily.
As far as talk of merging with Southampton, let it go. Time for Tuckahoe to move forward without Southampton. ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Dec 6, 14 10:00 PM
Please Lamm spare us the BS. Really you think Dyer deserves a raise? What has he accomplished to help the district? His sole way to save the district is to merge with Southampton which is disturbing. In the real world people don't get 20% raises especially when their accomplishments are little. Where are all the people from Tuckahoe outraged about this raise? Tuckahoe put themselves in this spot and they continue the bad behavior after crying poverty. The public education system is all about compensation ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Dec 7, 14 1:40 AM
1 member liked this comment
Chief, I also did my school work 30 years ago and succeeded. That's why it troubles me now to see my daughters homework, because it is no where near what you and I learned. Have you ever seen common core work? Again, do you even have kids who are subjected to this? You seem not to want to answer that question. My daughter is more than capable of common core work, but as I said, if you sat down and saw how this stuff is being taught, you would think it's ridiculous also. I agree with you, no ...more
By bubby (236), southampton on Dec 7, 14 8:50 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Molly64 (15), Southampton on Dec 8, 14 8:13 AM
I agree Bubby when it comes to teaching some teachers aren't compensated for their hard work. Then we have others who are lazy and over compensated and there for a check.
Obviously you and your wife are good parents, and put in the time for your childs success. Half the problem many parents would rather complain about common core than to find out how to succeed in it.
Basically my idea is pay the great teachers 150k a year, and rid ourselves of the bad ones. For a administrator like ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Dec 7, 14 11:20 AM
1 member liked this comment
1.) when it comes to teaching then a comma.
2.) comma after ''Then'' but its a run-on sentence.
3.) comma after ''Obviously'', no comma after ''parents''.
4.) apostrophe in ''child's'' to show possession
"Half the problem many parents would rather complain about common core than to find out how to succeed in it'' is a very disjointed sentence and needs to be totally reworked.
5.) comma after ''Basically''
6.) before ''administrator'' you should use ''an''. it's not ''a administrator''. ...more
By Molly64 (15), Southampton on Dec 8, 14 7:02 AM
Enough molly you're boring;;:,,."";,,''"",',;:"
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Dec 8, 14 5:36 PM
Yes chief, we WERE all being asked to be a sharing, caring community. You were one of the loudest voices against that idea. Mr. Dyer is anything but elitist, and as is always the case when it comes to Tuckahoe, you have no idea what you're talking about. Mr. Dyer has to answer to the three men on the Tuckahoe board, who all very badly want a merger with Southampton. It is his job to push their agenda. Yes, I do think he deserves a raise, and he has done so much for the school that you would ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Dec 7, 14 8:28 PM
I'm very sorry Molly I made a couple of mistakes it's difficult to write on a mobile phone. Quite frankly texting has put me in a bad habit of writing quickly without proper grammar.
Your problem is you have nothing intelligent to add to the conversation. Your worried about JV sports, and other nonsense. I'm worried about taxes, and lack of performance from school systems. Do you see any problems in the school system Molly? You probably work in the school system, and that's why you pick on ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Dec 8, 14 8:57 AM
1 member liked this comment
C'mon Molly...I know you're dying to tell him it's "You're worried"

By lamm (304), Southampton on Dec 8, 14 10:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Molly64 (15), Southampton on Dec 9, 14 6:22 AM
The best schools on Long Island with the best results are paying a minimum of $10,000 in taxes for a 3 bedroom ranch on 1/8th of an acre. Their kids get the highest SAT scores, better state scores and have the most AP classes. They also field the best sports teams. Chief, you enjoy the lowest taxes on Long Island, but perhaps you are getting exactly what you pay for.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Dec 8, 14 6:56 PM
We have estates, and summer residents subsidizing our low taxes. We pay 35k a student in Southampton, and that's no where near what they pay west of us.
By the way I thought it was anything for the kids? If that was true you would be sending your kids to Our Lady of the Hamptons or west to a better district. Instead you will try to convince us we need to reward over paid faculty, and better results will happen.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Dec 8, 14 7:21 PM
Finally you said something that made sense. You are being subsidized by summer residents. You are also being subsidized by Tuckahoe School District. In other words, both the summer residents and Tuckahoe residents are bailing YOU out. Southampton contract negotiations are commencing now. It will be curious to see if this website posts the dollar figures of each of the Southampton School District's staff increases. Word on the street is that the facilities manager of Tuckahoe was at Aboff's ...more
By Molly64 (15), Southampton on Dec 10, 14 6:28 AM
Chief, If I could afford OLH and wanted my children to learn a religion other than their own, I would consider it. My choices are what they are. I don't spend a lot of time complaining about the school because my children get a lot of support at home and do very well. I can promise you though that despite what you believe to be true, Tuckahoe is a really nice, sweet school and there is a reason Tuckahoe kids are very often at the top of their class in Southampton. I would rather pay higher taxes ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Dec 8, 14 9:58 PM
If you love your school Lamm pay for it!
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Dec 9, 14 7:56 AM
I do pay for it, and a good part of yours as well.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Dec 9, 14 2:38 PM
Sorry Molly Tuckahoe isn't a net positive financially for Southampton. Southampton has spent tens of millions for infrastructure to accommodate Tuckahoe students. Plus if Tuckahoe merged with Southampton we would take nine million dollars from a building fund to equalize taxes. Not a good deal for Southampton, and a nice try by you to distort the facts.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Dec 10, 14 7:54 AM
Would you care to elaborate on that? You are hereby invited to support that statement with concrete facts. Please make sure to detail your claim that SH has spent "tens of millions for infrastructure to accommodate Tuckahoe students". Good luck.
Dec 10, 14 8:26 AM appended by Molly64
I didn't think you could support it chef. The only one distorting facts is you and another thing you didn't pick up in class is that you need to be able to support what you say. Perhaps it was your cell phone's fault. Nothing you say can be supported therefore, nobody should put any credence into a single one of your statements. It's your job to support what you say, not mine.
By Molly64 (15), Southampton on Dec 10, 14 8:26 AM
Do your own research Molly. The fact is the Southampton District is suppose to clean out their infrastructure account of nine million for a Tuckahoe merger.
Stop being a bully as long as they want to raise my taxes your comments will not stop me. The Southampton Press is getting the facts out every week, and they are very disturbing. The taxpayers of Southampton are told to sacrifice our low tax base to make a sense of community. I don't see the administrators or faculty of Tuckahoe or Southampton ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Dec 10, 14 8:58 AM
1 member liked this comment
Chief, you are full of it and you know it. You'll say anything to save a bit of money. Southampton built nothing for Tuckahoe, and if we weren't a cash cow Southampton wouldn't have forced Tuckahoe to give them an exclusive in exchange for the same tuition that Westhampton was charging. Why would they want more students if it's a loss? That's just moronic.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Dec 11, 14 9:10 PM
Southampton is cleaning out their infrastructure account anyway, so you will have your $9,000,000 building and all the expenses that come along with that.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Dec 11, 14 9:12 PM
Whoa Lamm why would you want to send kids to WHB if it's the same price as Southampton? You said it's a sense of community, and for the kids. The truth is you want your 40k a student private school at Tuckahoe, with your taxes being cut in half at Southampton taxpayer's expense.
You wrote in one of your posts about how NYS will force Tuckahoe to merge. Total BS the law says they will close the school, and you will have to pay tuition. This ironically will lower your taxes by a third. I have ...more
Dec 12, 14 1:16 PM appended by chief1
Where's your answer Lamm? Southampton was the best answer for Tuckahoe students when your taxes could be cut in half, but now it's not? This is another example why education stinks in this country. We all know that WHB is a better choice for academics, and even sports, but this would not cut your taxes. So please spare us it's for the kids. If Mr Dyer was worried about Tuckahoe's future he would not take a 20% raise, and would be truthful that WHB is a better school! No we can't do that we need to employ more teachers, more union dues, and a clueless superintendent making 250k a year for bad decisions. Wake up it's about pensions, and hiring everyone's friends to teach our kids. Instead of paying teachers on their merit we pay them like a communist govt where they all get the same no matter how much they stink. When will parents stop listening to the propaganda that the problem is the Spanish kids, golf courses, and needed mergers? If you care about your kid make sure they go to a private school. If you can't afford one make sure they get into WHB, because Southampton is more interested in growing a huge school to protect their jobs. It's very sad we use children's futures to line people's pocket's. We are paying 38k a year per student, and cheating kids of an education. Shame on us!!
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Dec 12, 14 1:16 PM
I challenge you to stand by and prove a single one of those statements. The fact of the matter is that the sudden interest in WHB is an emotional reaction borne out of the desire to exact revenge on SH. It's not because it has higher test scores. You want us to believe that you have the answers and that you know better than the parents, the school boards, the administrators and the legislators. You care about the kids more than their own parents do, you know how to manage schools better than ...more
By Molly64 (15), Southampton on Dec 12, 14 5:31 PM
He can't back up his nonsense Molly, he's all hot air. Now he's clearly getting nervous about the prospect of losing the Tuckahoe kids and tuition. The nightmarish thought that his ridiculously low taxes might go up a little probably keeps him up at night, thinking up all this nonsense.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Dec 13, 14 12:03 AM
Chief, are you really that dense? A school in my community was always my first choice to merge with, but clearly that's not going to happen. Tuckahoe won't survive long term, I don't even want to hear your bs that Tuckahoe overspends, because we're more fiscally responsible than your school hands down. As far as the other issues you raise with school and teachers, I don't necessarily disagree with you, but that's statewide and there's nothing you or I can do about that at the moment. Mr. Dyer's ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Dec 13, 14 12:00 AM