K in Play
Concerns about Mamaroneck Schools cutting the kindergarten schedule even further
are circulating among district parents with young children.
One email urges objecting parents to be heard (and reminding them of past parental successes with this strategy), urges the Teacher’s Association to make concessions, but also describes the situtation as follows.
Keep in mind this is not the frst time this proposal has been floated; it has never been implemented. (Don’t get a bunch of smart mommies upset….)
The District has proposed eliminating full day kindergarten for all children at Central, Chatsworth and Murray unless they can prove the need for additional instruction time. Mamaroneck Avenue School children will retain full day kindergarten, regardless of need.
This reduction would eliminate 21 jobs and reduce the school budget by $1.3 million.
- There are no neighboring school districts to us with half day kindergarten
- There are only a few districts in Westchester county with our current hybrid system (mixed half/full days)
- Is this a "good" cut with minimal impact? Ask your realtor how this change will impact our community’s property values
This note circulating among Chatsworth parents is more specific:
With preschoolers at home, I thought you would be interested to hear the recap of tonight’s budget workshop meeting. Superintendent Fried, in an effort to create a budget-to-budget increase under 3%, recommended cost reductions totalling $3.8 million.
Among other things, his recommendation proposes half day kindergarten at Murray and Chatsworth. I believe there is a contractual hour lunch break and 1/2 hour teacher preparation period, bringing each half day session to roughly 2 1/4 hours. It was mentioned to me that every other district in the county offers full day kindergarten except Bronxville, Chappaqua, and now possibly us.
The next meeting is Tuesday, 2/9. Please come to voice feedback or simply offer support to those who offer feedback.
Sts. John & Paul School offers full day kindergarten. For more information contact Sts. John and Paul School at 914-834-6332 or visit the website http://www.sjpschool.org
I guess Mamaroneck Ave. School is the place to be.
The issue is not simply half-day kindergarten vs. full-day kindergarten. Paul Fried was very clear that this proposed budget is “the best of the worst”. What is the counter-proposal of the parents concerned about moving to half-day kindergarten? Are they willing to increase class size in all of the other elementary grades? (That is the other option on the table right now) Moving to half-day kindergarten may not be ideal, but our classrooms right now are bursting with children. An increase in class size effects our kids year after year. Or, are parents willing to see a larger increase in school taxes? Simply saying that you want to keep our kindergarten program as is doesn’t solve the problem.
Also, please check your facts. The writer in the article quotes someone as saying that we, Chappaqua and Bronxville are the only districts not offering full-day kindergarten in the county. This is simply untrue. Rye comes quickly to mind and I am quite sure that there are others.
I don’t think [i]any[/i] of the choices are what people want, but the piper has to be paid in some way. If the budget is voted down, even deeper cuts will be instituted. I urge anyone unhappy with the many options on the table (1/2 day being one of the least awful options) to come up with a way to save $1 million from the Elementary School budgets at the many BOE work sessions.
We have been living large for a long time. Remember we are in a deep recession. Taxes and aid are cut. I commend the school board for drawing on reserves it put away for just such contingencies. But Dr. Fried is right that the board must present a budget people can vote for. And they are willing to listen to anyone who has a good idea.
[quote][i]Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.[/i] – Dwight D. Eisenhower[/quote]
We must administer less – just what will we propose to payi a new nationally searched Superintendent?
We must teach more – read the contract and then burn it.
We must recognize how facilities and ‘place’ need to change – we are in a flatter, more technologically advanced and economically more fragile world.
We must come to a new understanding – that educational quality is not necessarily correlated with financial expenditures.
The decades when we had the ability to increase school taxes have ended as must the ‘Age of Expectation’. Now we must find and use the underutilized resources that are available to us to replace the dollars that we no longer have.
Else our lasting education to the students will be that we did not know what we were doing and we will leave them little except debt and problems.