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Info and Links on School Budget Votes on Long Island for Tues. May 18, 2010

2012 Update:
Current election results for May 2012:
See onthewilderside post: here.

OLD INFO…2010…OLD INFO…2010…Update 5/19/2010 at 8am: OLD 2010 – Newsday – 2010 results are here. Newsday reports that 114 of 124 Long Island School Budgets passed.
The ten school budgets that failed on Tuesday were: Port Jefferson, Westbury, W. Babylon, Wyandanch, W. Hempstead, Elwood, Herricks, Garden City, Levittown and E. Rockaway. OLD INFO…2010

KW writes:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 are school budget and school trustee votes in many Long Island school districts.

To find a story reviewing the situation of school budgets on Long Island in general, see the Long Island Press: here. Or, Newsday: here. A list of more detailed stories in local papers at the bottom. But, first, my thoughts on school budget votes:

I am a proponent of liberation voting. I think it is silly to walk into a voting booth and pull a couple of levers based on the choices the folks already in power have deigned to offer you.

The best case scenario is, that you should get involved in the election months before — either get on the ballot, recruit a candidate, or shape things for fairness and accountability.

If you haven’t done that much work, then at least go in and express your wishes. So, for all school votes, I recommend sacrificing one slot on the ballot — either the budget slot or a vote for trustee — to write-in your message to your local school board.
Here are two excellent proposals that I may write-in tomorrow:

“I demand a Menu Item vote”

One reason that we are trapped with bloated school bureaucracies and high taxes, is that the powers-that-be have created the most arcane and manipulative system of voting for school budgets. Residents get one vote on the budget, either YES or NO, either TAKE IT or LEAVE IT. When a choice is that simple, it is too easy for the people already in charge to stack the deck so that they can juggle things how they want,  stick the things they want arranged together in ways that will appeal to you, and make trades ahead of time among in-groups.

And, secondly, when there are two choices, it is easy to frighten people that one choice will bring certain doom. So, on one side, fiscal conservatives will say, “We are all going to be poor if you vote YES, and allow them to increase the budget.” While high paid administrators and unions reps will say, “Our children will suffer, there will be no sports and no culture if you vote NO.”

Most things in life include middle ground and moderation. And, that should be the case with school votes. We will never get there unless voters demand to have more choice, which brings with it more power. So, a better way to vote is to demand a “menu item budget” to vote on, with the voters allowed to choose, for example, “a budget decrease of 10%, a budget increase of 3%, 0r a budget increase of 10%.” Even better, and more specific to the term “menu item voting”, voters should be allowed to vote categories up or down. For instance having several votes on the ballot such as: “Raise teachers’ salaries 3% – YES or NO” and “Raise administrators salaries 3% – YES or NO” and “Increase sports program budget – YES or NO” and “Buy new books – YES or NO”. If voters had that much input, school officials would have to listen more. If voters had the power to vote YES to some things, while still voting NO to others, then school districts couldn’t stick everything they want in one big pot, and say we will all be doomed if we don’t approve their wishes.

“I want our school district to implement Small Schools”

Schools on Long Island are too big. There are ways to fix this without changing the buildings and spending a lot more money. Small Schools – schools that have positive social networks and smaller classes – can be arranged as schools within schools through scheduling and arranging the programming better.

Some more info and links about this topic at a previous wilderside post: here.

Lists of places to find school vote info for various communities:

The Babylon Beacon has stories about several local districts. There is a short blurb on-line, and you can find the whole story in the print edition, or if you become a subscriber.

The Babylon Beacon has stories about:

West Babylon School District; West Islip School District; Babylon School District and North Babylon School District.

The Babylon Beacon has charts for:

Deer Park School District; Lindenhurst School District; Copiague School District; and Farmingdale School District

The Babylon Beacon reports the following proposed increases/decreases for various school districts:

  • Babylon School District: Proposed 2.4% increase
  • Copiague School District: Proposed DECREASE of minus .136%
  • Deer Park School District: Proposed .66% increase
  • Farmingdale School District: Proposed 3.3%
  • Lindenhurst School District: Proposed .49% increase
  • North Babylon School District: Proposed 2.5% increase
  • West Babylon School District: Proposed 2.08% increase
  • West Islip School District: Proposed 2.9% increase

A sister paper to the Babylon Beacon, The Amityville Record has stories about Amityville area school districts.

A sister paper to the Babylon Beacon, The Massapequa Post has stories about Massapequa area school districts.

At The Patch web-site, there are local stories about various school districts. I have to mention that I disagreed heartily with one of the editorials at The Patch (it recommended school consolidation!). But, there is some useful info there, overall:

Article about Sachem School District at The Patch

Article about Syosset School District at The Patch

The Village Tattler has some stories about school districts, budgets and votes in The Town of Huntington.

6 Responses

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  4. I feel as if my vote has been robbed! I took the time to seek information on all candidates, encouraged many others to vote and our hopes and dreams were torn apart when it was announced that our candidates had lost, First on the night after waiting for almost an hour for one polling station to report, it was announced that our candidate had lost by one 1 vote after having had the lead at 6 other polling stations and then 3 days later when the elections were certified by the contractor for the election machines, our second candidate suddenly had lost by more than 35 votes when on election night she was declared the winner by more than 90 votes. What official steps can be taken to correct this obvious wrong of underhanded but outright “stealing of votes?

    • Kimberly writes: What you would have to do is find out who runs the election, and ask them how to go about challenging the results. Unfortunately, with school boards, it is often the clerk of the school board who is the election officer, and, well, they probably have some biases. I suppose another thing to do at the same time, is to try to get attention to the perceived injustice, such as letting other parents know, and/or letting the press know. Good luck.

  5. […] better accomplished with a Menu Item Budget Vote, as described in a previous onthewilderside post: here. Share […]

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