New York State requires a 95 percent test participation rate in order to avoid the risk of losing federal and state aid. According to a compilation of data from the NYS Education Department, Saugerties CSD is identified as not having met participation standards for 2015.
Read all of this week’s school-election-related letters in the print edition, on newsstands May 7-13.
Due to the number of opt-outs in our District, our rate has dropped from 97 percent to 75 percent. This is serious business.
Remember, the president of the NYS Teachers Association came out publicly and encouraged parents to have their children opt out of the exams. Also remember, a certain percentage of the test is used to evaluate teachers’ performance. If this continues, as I’m sure it will, taxpayers will take a big hit with the possibility of losing state and federal funding… Remember, that the head of Regents said, “those districts that drop down below 95 percent risk losing federal and state aid.” So, brace yourself folks, it’s coming down the pike.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of getting out to vote on Tuesday, May 19. This may very well be one of the most important school elections in Saugerties’ history. Remember, one of the new board candidates is a schoolteacher who is active in the teachers’ union in Kingston along with his wife. He also is anti-Seth Turner. Remember, Seth Turner has been a prudent spender and has been instrumental is formulating sensible budgets.
A very important point to consider: The district is presently in the midst of contract negotiations with the Saugerties teachers’ union. Do you want an active schoolteacher who is heavily involved with the teachers’ union in Kingston sitting on the Board of Education and making decisions with your tax dollars? If not, then you’d better get out and vote — do not sit this one out! We cannot afford to return to the flamboyant ways of years ago.
Please get out and vote for the incumbents. Re-elect Don Tucker, Tom Ham, and Rich Petramale; they have a proven record of sensible decisions under their belts.