Comments by schdyres1
Posted on April 2 at 8:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)
Gplante: What Charter Schools are doing is limiting their acceptance, and retaining of Special Needs students, ELL, and behavior problems, and sending them back to the regular public schools when it is time to take the Common Core tests. They many times do not replace those students who leave, resulting in fewer of their students taking the tests. The public does NOT vote on the charter school budgets, though the money they spend is public money raised from YOUR taxes. The public also cannot vote on who becomes a member of the Charter School Boards. All of this has been well-documented, especially in the past few months. Does this sound like a democratic process to you? If NYS continues to financially support urban schools like Schenectady, test scores, and graduation rates should continue to increase. If NYS financial support to urban schools waxes and wanes, as it has for decades, expect more of the same. The glass is half full...
Posted on April 1 at 8:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)
The Schenectady City School District does NOT pay more per student for each of its 10,000 students, than other School Districts in the area. Please post the data upon which you base that opinion. Even if that opinion were correct, one would expect it would cost a school district that had a student population with many more ELL students, Special Needs students, and students living in poverty than average schools, to spend more per student. Instead, the SCSD cannot spend as much per child as the surrounding school districts, resulting in larger classes, and fewer support staff members. GPlante you have hit the nail on the head! When you say "why should I support...with six kids and their inherent societal problems to come," that is exactly why public schools need to be adequately funded, particularly high-need, low-wealth districts like Schenectady. Public Education, if adequately funded, can provide such students with the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to be productive members of society. Maleckij12, parochial (private) schools do not have to accept all students who come to their doors. They can eject students who are disciplinary problems. Do they have the same percentages of Sp. Need Sudents, ELL, students living in poverty?
Posted on March 30 at 9:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)
Thank you for writing about the plight of poor school districts. Your points are well-taken. One would have thought the State Legislators could connect the dots, but it appears not.
Please do not refer to schools as "good schools," and "bad schools". This just reinforces the complaints of some people that think the problem is that teachers aren't doing their job in schools whose students are struggling. In reality, teachers in those schools work very hard to help their students make academic progress, in a most caring way, but with a lack off sufficient resources. Those resources would be equitable financing which would lead to smaller classes, more programs, and more people on staff that could support students. It is crucial that the NYS Legislature and Gov. Cuomo make this year THE year of positive change in education funding for low-wealth, high-need school districts, such as Schenectady. Indeed, it would make a big difference in the economic growth in Schenectady. This should be a focus of the Chamber of Commerce.
Posted on March 15 at 3:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)
Does any resident of Schenectady remember an announcement seeking participants for the focus group, or the survey mentioned? How many of those speaking in favor of Rush Street live in the city of Schenectady? If Galesi and Rush Street Gaming insist on naming the streets, they should also be responsible for their maintenance.
Posted on February 28 at 9:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)
How can money be distributed to ANY schools, before a plan is developed for all of the District? What happened to including Central Park Middle School in this first phase, which includes the other two middle schools that will be operating next year?
Posted on February 27 at 9:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)
Congratulations to the Hamilton School staff! The teachers and principal have been professional and caring through the years, using their skills to teach students with many diverse needs. The difference here, is that added financial resources have made a huge difference. Now the District will be shifting more resources to Keane School. All of this points out that the NY State Legislature and Gov. Cuomo need to fund more equitablly the SCSD. Until then, it is a shell game, with District resources being taken from some schools, and redistributed to another school. Continuity in education is crucial. NYS government and Commissioner Elia: This is no way to fund public education.
Posted on February 26 at 11:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)
Since there are few retail stores, and only one market of which I am aware, people will need to have parking spaces near their residences. Otherwise, they would be carting their purchases for distances. Until there are more retail stores downtown, and it becomes safer to walk distances, particularly at night, it's hard to understand why this must be done now. Concentrate on retail.
Posted on February 21 at 1:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)
Dickmackinnon: Capital Plan funds are for building renovations in this case, not academic program support. That money is being used to make necessary improvements to Oneida School and Mt. Pleasant School, and other old Schenectady schools which needed better furnaces, roof repair, and other maintenance updates.
Frank Lowe: The fact that districts downstate can spend $20,000 per student per year, does not help students in the SCSD which spends far less per pupil! So you would advocate that suburban school district students should be financially supported at a higher level because their tax bases will support it, while students in poor cities like Schenectady should receive a lesser education because that's all its citizens can afford? There are many students in Schenectady who take rigorous courses such as the IB Program. The District must provide programs for those students, as well as the students who need much academic support to succeed. If you think privatization of schools is the answer, take a look at the record of Charter Schools. Truly private schools would accept the very best and well-behaved students, leaving the rest to public schools who accept all students. Public education is supposed to be available to all, and equitably financed.
Gplante: Teach 4 year olds to read and write??? If we want to improve the graduation rate in Schenectady, NYS must finance education here equitably. Otherwise the poor will remain poor; no casino will remedy that. You reap what you sow.
Posted on February 20 at 11:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)
gplante227: What many Charter Schools do differently is accept fewer Special Needs and Ell learners than the regular public schools in their neighborhood. It is well-documented. WE the people of Schenectady, students and taxpayers, have been receiving $60,000,000 LESS EACH YEAR from NY State, than proposed by the court settlement many years ago. That money would go a long way toward supporting our students so that the graduation rate rate would increase, and our taxes would decrease. Why confuse this issue by ranting about "educrats" and teacher's unions? That is a disservice to the many teachers in the SCSD who work hard with meager resources to teach their students day after day. If you want lower taxes, and better results, you should be supporting and joining this group.
Posted on February 19 at 10:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)
Finally a group in Schenectady that will pursue this very important issue. Too many generations of students of Schenectady's schools have been short-changed by the present system of financing education, as the 3 men in a room, and the rest of the legislators allow the State to neglect the court-ordered remedy.
The money that is actually owed to the SCSD each year will not only provide our students with the programs and staffing they need. It will also provide Schenectady taxpayers with much needed relief from our exorbitant school property taxes, for homes that have decreased in value.
Hopefully other groups, such as neighborhood associations, Civic groups, etc. will join the cause.