Batavia asks questions about how to fund schools

Here’s a link to one report about the impact of the property tax cap in just one district if the tax cap had been in effect.

The article notes that schools and municipalities would not be able to raise the tax levy by more than 2 percent or the consumer price index, whichever is less. The latest CPI was 1.64 percent. In Batavia, that would have mean additional cuts of $426,064, which would mean eight jobs.

“I think people have had a rosy-glasses kind of look at this. The very worst thing that could happen in this district, or in any community, is when school districts start failing. The 2 percent tax cap is not an easy explanation; it’s not an easy fix. It does not solve the problem of how to properly fund education in our state.”

That quote comes from board member Patrick Burk, who is the school board’s legislative liaison and has been attending related meetings in Albany. He can appreciate the fact that paying less taxes is an attractive option. But he also wonders, at what cost to students?

The district provides “so much just to give them a basic start in life to be productive citizens,” he said. He cited several anonymous examples of students who have been given some extra help when needed to get them through to graduation. He also named some of the potential program cuts that aren’t mandated, including kindergarten, athletics, band, chorus, strings, extracurricular clubs, advanced placement and the arts.

“What’s going to happen with that?” he said.

Good questions, all.

Keep sending us information about what is (and what is not thanks to cuts) going on in your area.


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