MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Mamaroneck Daily Voice accepts signed and original letters to the editor up to 350 words. To submit your letter, email email@example.com
I write to encourage a Yes vote on the Mamaroneck school budget. Having just finished nine years on the Board of Education, I understand why the current Board is asking us to over-ride the State imposed tax levy cap.
One of the purposes the tax cap was to encourage school districts to look closer at their spending, services, staffing, reserves and revenues. The cap wasn’t popular with school districts but has served a purpose. Over the past 5 years, our administration has found a myriad of efficiencies. Our staff has agreed to tighter contracts and increased workloads. Our community members have learned to pay for use of District facilities. Some children in private schools have lost school busses. Our Board of Education has reached deeply and thoughtfully into our reserves. At the same time, our District remains at the forefront of education innovation. When the efficiencies, compromises and innovations allowed for budgets under the cap, the District passed those savings onto the community.
Our District has met the challenges imposed by the tax cap and earned our trust.
The over-riding (pun intended) issue is that the costs of education can rise at a faster rate than the CPI—particularly with rising enrollment and insurance costs. Until NY State decides to rethink the tax cap formula or how education is funded, all school districts eventually will find themselves where we are. We could wait for that and make deep and hurtful cuts, or we can decide as a community that we value education for our children. We all know that a good school district keeps our real estate values growing. More importantly, it also prepares the next generation for the future.
My children benefitted greatly from the Mamaroneck Schools but my youngest graduated nearly 10 years ago. I will be voting YES, not for my own children , but to support the education of the next generation with the confidence and trust that we are not being asked for more than is needed.