Sachem Budget Fails

The Sachem School District's proposed 2013-14 budget failed after netting only 54% of the votes after more than 12,000 district residents turned out for Tuesday's vote.

The final tally was 6,828 in favor to 5,762 opposed.

While the $293 million spending plan was only .58% higher than last year's budget, it called for a 7.49% tax levy increase on residents. That translated to roughly $484 per year for property owners. Initially the district was battling a $26 million shortfall and would need to increase taxes by 16% in order to sustain a rollover budget from this current year.

The district cited a loss in revenue streams, cuts or inefficient increases in State aid and the use of the district's reserve funds over the years as the cause for the large budget hole.

On June 18 residents will vote on the tax cap contingency budget. The tax cap proposal calls for a 3.14% increase in taxes, but will lead to cuts in programs and services such as full-day kindergarten, cheerleading, music and non-varsity sports.

Darren May 22, 2013 at 06:06 PM
Funding all or nothing? why sid i have to lay out $800 for a saxophone so my kid could be in the band? drama band chorus for all of the schools make up less than 1% of the 293m. The bulk is and always will be the employees salaries and pension plans. Until that is addressed this conversation will ho on forever. Guaranteed increases, funded pension plans by taxpayers to cover market drops, and permanent job security via tenure. , Then we have the physical buildings. We had to go ahead not too long ago and build a new high school that cost a fortune and now are considering selling it due to declining enrollment. It has been declining steadily over the past 10 plus years. Why build a new school in the first place?
Jen Jones May 22, 2013 at 06:42 PM
I wold pay for it, I can't pay for it. Not allowed.
Jen Jones May 22, 2013 at 06:43 PM
Jen Jones May 22, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Buying an instrument is different. And you can rent them for a lot less than $800. I agree about the buildings.
colleen atwater May 22, 2013 at 06:59 PM
Your allowed to pay for your kids in another cheerleading group outside of the schools. Why cant they cheer for teams through PAL and such?
Ronnie Vane May 22, 2013 at 07:04 PM
let the teacher pay for there benefits
Ronnie Vane May 22, 2013 at 07:09 PM
hey john screw your degreesssssssssss.i work hard for my money.here is my name if you would like to talk you can look up my number.
Jen Jones May 22, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Colleen, they can. That's not the point. Please understand I'm not saying that people who don't have the money, truly, should vote yes. I'm saying people who can afford it but instead blindly vote no - or use these budget votes to prove a point, are doing this district a great disservice. Can the district improve long term? Yes. But I've been going to the meetings and this BOE did the best they could this year with the pile of crap state aid package we got.
mr john May 22, 2013 at 08:22 PM
Why didn't the district tell everyone that the State gave them back the money in aid that they rallied so much for? They forced kids to write letters and didn't even notify anyone that they got money back in aid. They asked for a huge tax increase but didn't even bother telling anyone that they got money from the state. No one got a letter or a phone call, but I do believe that there was one article here on Sachem Patch.
JDB May 22, 2013 at 08:52 PM
Hey tough guy Ronnie...learn how to follow a thread. Was I talking to you? If someone wants to say they are more educated then me, then they need to put up or shut up. I worked my ass off to get through both a masters and post-masters degree. If you want teachers to pay for there benefits, then learn how to use the word there correctly...it's their. Teachers do pay into their benefits so know what you are talking about before you post.
colleen atwater May 22, 2013 at 11:09 PM
Jen as unfortunate as it may be there are quite a number of people who cannot afford it.so if the budget is to pass in June what about those people who are now in a predicament to do without even more because there was more people on the second vote who could could afford it or who have fallen victim to the Boards Board's scarescare tactics.. What then. Then they become even worse off even more dependent on the govt to support them and where does that come from? our pay checks. So now our taxes go up again and salaries. down to cover more who have now been forced to turn to govt dependency.
JP May 23, 2013 at 12:39 AM
How much money is enough ? On a per student basis? 15k, 20k, 30k? How much does it cost too get a decent high school education. The system is broke and throwing money at it has not worked. I think we're going to see more and more no votes as time goes on and people who never voted before on a school budget, start to open their eyes, and get fed up with out of control taxes. I see More and more families leaving the island... As for John M , I can only hope you aren't a teacher at one of our schools because it is evident you have a lot of growing up too do.
Ann May 23, 2013 at 10:23 AM
JP couldn't agree with you more. Keep raising taxes and see how many people start to leave - it doesn't matter if we have the best school system in the country at that point - if people can't afford to live here where will that leave us? And I am included in that - I am currently looking to leave LI!
Momof3 May 23, 2013 at 10:59 AM
Let's look at some numbers. The average cost of educating students in the U.S. is $10,560. The average in NY is $19,076. On Long Island, the average spending is $26,052. Why so high in Long Island? The bulk of our taxes goes to salaries, pensions and benefits. If cuts need to be made, it should also include freezing salaries for top administrators (some make over $150,000).
Ann May 23, 2013 at 11:04 AM
I found this under Sachem's budget on an online website - does anyone here make this kind of money???!!! Enough is enough! Staff salaries 2012-13 2011-12 2010-11 2009-10 Title 2012-2013 Salary Benefits Other Total compensation Superintendent of Schools $220,000 $55,024 $8,600 $283,624 Associate Superintendent For Business $225,809 $46,625 $0 $272,434 Assistant Superintendent For Curriculum - Elem $161,285 $45,263 $0 $206,548 Assistant Superintendent For Personnel $150,141 $43,782 $0 $193,923 Assistant Superintendent For Curriculum - Sec $148,001 $43,782 $0 $191,783 Secodary Principal $167,988 $0 $0 $167,988 Secondary Principal $165,988 $0 $0 $165,988 Director Of Information Systems $158,096 $0 $0 $158,096 Director Of Pe, Health And Athletics $155,940 $0 $0 $155,940 Secondary Principal $152,839 $0 $0 $152,839 Elementary Principal $151,539 $0 $0 $151,539 Elementary Principal $151,539 $0 $0 $151,539 Secondary Principal $151,139 $0 $0 $151,139 Elementary Principal $151,139 $0 $0 $151,139 Secondary Principal $150,839 $0 $0 $150,839 Admin. Ast For Instructional Technology $149,539 $0 $0 $149,539 Elementary Principal $148,463 $0 $0 $148,463 Coordinator For Student Services $147,763 $0 $0 $147,763 Elementary Principal $146,463 $0 $0 $146,463 Elementary Principal $146,463 $0 $0 $146,463 Admin Asst For Music And Performing Arts $143,475 $0 $0 $143,475 Elementary Principal $140,487 $0 $0 $140,487 Elementary Principal $140,487 $0 $0 $140,487 Secondary Principal $140,487 $0 $0 $140,487 Elementary Principal $140,487 $0 $0 $140,487 Coordinator For Student Services $139,499 $0 $0 $139,499 Secondary Asst. Principal $139,084 $0 $0 $139,084
Ann May 23, 2013 at 11:10 AM
Don't know why my previous post about salaries was deleted - I found this online under Sachem's budget - an admin asst makes $150,000 a year??? And no one see anything wrong with this?? But yes sure, raise my taxes because I don;t want you to cut the kids programs - when will you people wake up? They are blackmailing us to vote yes and you all fall for it. Instead, why don't we all demand that they leave the programs as is and find other ways to cut the budget. Judging by the below salary I'm sure they could find some ways! Admin. Ast For Instructional Technology $149,539 $149,539
BONNIEGIRL May 23, 2013 at 11:16 AM
Check out any and all teachers/administrator salaries:seethroughny.com
Maryann May 23, 2013 at 11:21 AM
I totally understand both sides of this issue. My husband, the sole supporter of our family of 6, was out of work for a year. We pay over $9,000 a year for health insurance and the only money we will have upon retirement at the ripe old age of 67 is whatever we put into it. LI is an expensive place to live, but if you seriously can't afford an extra $1.33 a day then you definately have bigger issues and need to leave. However, you are now living in an undesireable school district and can expect to lose tens of thousands off the sale price of your home (how many years will you have to live here to make the tax increase not worth it?), not to mention that it will be extremely difficult to sell. Time after time mistakes are made by those in office and our children are the ones that pay the price. It's time to hold them accountable for their actions, not our children. Don't forget, our children are our future and if we keep taking from them and showing them that they don't matter, the future doesn't seem very bright for any of us. Though I understand why people voted no, I ask that you don't prove your point in a way that negatively impacts our children. The time to vote no is when Cuomo and those currently in office run again! Let THEM pay the price for their mistakes.
Ann May 23, 2013 at 11:35 AM
Maryann, This school budget has nothing to do with the fact that you won't be able to sell your home. Anyone who bought their house 5-6 yrs ago will lose money regardless because of the market! Keep raising taxes and you'll be lucky if get half of what you paid for it! It has nothing to do with the $1.33 a day - you honestly mean to tell me your ok with an admin asst in the school system making $150,000 a yr? And if you answer yes then I know you work for the school system yourself!!!
Maryann May 23, 2013 at 11:53 AM
Ann, Sorry that you are so angry, but your school district has a HUGE impact on the sale of your home. It is the first question most people ask when looking for a home and the most research that is done by homebuyers. The housing market is all relative. If the market is down, the market is down everywhere. If your school district is undesireable, your home value is much lower than one in a better school district. And no, I don't work in the system and I don't believe an admin asst should be making that amount of money; nor do I believe that teachers should be able to retire at 55 on my dime. But those changes don't come by voting down the budget. The union is who you have the issue with, but it's the kids that you are punishing.
Ann May 23, 2013 at 12:07 PM
Yes, I am angry and you should be too. Look up school salaries and you will get even more angry. There are lots of places to trim the budget - the fat cats just refuse to do it. But they blackmail us and hang the programs over our heads unless we vote yes. Do you know what that tells me? They really don't care about our kids! We should all be angry - not at each other - but at the school district! I am all in for an increase - but you hit the homeowners with a 7.5% tax increase? Are you kidding me??!!! I am not mad at anyone on this board - I am furious at our school district, as we all should be. Look up sachem school salaries - and have a bag ready just in case you throw up!
Maryann May 23, 2013 at 12:32 PM
Hahaha, that's a good one! And I totally agree with you! The problem is that they won't cut where they SHOULD cut. They will instead take from our kids because GREED and SELF-INTEREST is what everyone's all about. No one is willing to give up anything they have but are more than happy to take from our children. It is a disgrace! Again, this is a union issue and whether the budget passes or fails, I hold no hope that the union will give up anything. So the only place left to take from is from our kids. I saw the report on News12 which stated 75% of a school budget goes to teachers' salaries, benefits and pensions. How much more of that 25% can be cut??? So once again, I have to find the money in my budget to pay for others because I want my children to have access to everything available.
Sachemdude May 23, 2013 at 05:27 PM
You want to make a real change in how we deal with the unions, stop voting for the same corrupt politicians over and over again. From the local level of school board trustees to the national level of state congress and senators and even president. If you're not happy with the direction this country is headed then stop voting for the same people over and over again. These people have created kingdoms for themselves and the sheep of this country just keep voting for them, democrat and republican. Stop voting for the incumbents. Keep electing fresh blood until they start to vote and make the changes that you want to see. The definition of insanity si doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The majority voters in this country must be insane. Just look at this vote. It's obvious here that NO ONE was happy with this budget even if they voted for it, but yet we re-elect three board members that ran unopposed. And they all had thousands of votes. I refused to vote for any of them out of protest even though I knew they were going to be re-elected because there was no one else. If you want change then you have to work for change and stop rewarding the people that are nit listening to you and just doing what is in their own best interest.
Sachem Dad May 23, 2013 at 07:02 PM
So here it starts....next election, everyone write in sachemdude! I am with ya! If we could see the official results from this last one,(if they keep them for viewing or have been posted somewhere) you would see that Mickey, Minnie and Goofy each received a vote!
Sachemdude May 23, 2013 at 07:11 PM
Did I say to write in names? I think I said to vote for new people and not the incumbents. If you are not happy with the direction things are going why vote for the same people who are going to do the same things. Vote for new blood if you want to try to get new results. I think you need to go back to school and take a reading comprehension course.
Sachem Dad May 23, 2013 at 08:45 PM
Dude? Take your own advice, I was agreeing with you! But holding your breath and not marking the incumbent cows with a vote didn't get their attention. If ANYONE else was running for the posts they would have received my votes. Absent that, I considered a little tongue-cheek write in. You are 100% correct, out with the old, in with the new, shake it up, some fresh air, a new perspective, something. Same goes for all those up the political chain! Not part of the solution... you're part of the problem, time to go! But first Sachem needs to unite to accomplish its goals.
Maryann May 23, 2013 at 10:04 PM
Sachemdude, I NEVER vote for the incumbent. I am with you all the way, but if you noticed, the three Board members up for re-election had no one running against them and the fact that I didn't vote for any of them didn't count against them. The fact that I didn't vote for Obama didn't matter either because he's still in office and I won't be surprised if Cuomo gets re-elected too! I like Sachem Dad's idea. Next time Minnie, Mickey, and Goofy are getting my vote! Come to think of it, I think Goofy's already in office!
Sachemdude May 24, 2013 at 07:27 AM
LOL...SachemDad and Maryann...you are both write. Goofy is running the asylum. My thought was that if enough people felt the same way and did not vote for any of the uncontested board members it would send a message. Imagine 8000 people voting for the budget and less than 100 voting for a board member. You think that would not send a message? Unfortunately no one was running against them so there were no other options this time. It will take time but we have to turn the tide or this country is headed for their world status. Our current "leaders" get where they are by making promises to give away the store not caring that the rest of us have to pay for it. They know if they promise enough "stuff" and "free money" enough of the sheep will vote for them.
Scott Danziger May 26, 2013 at 09:38 AM
reposted comment from another headline.... Maybe now would be the time to take another approach at the problem. What's done is done. In the future, it would be wise to carefully vote for your elected officials and see what they are really going to do for your community. That would require getting involved from the PTA on Up. All of it. With that said... Now would be a good time to see what programs can be saved by other means. I believe it was about 5 years ago Pat-Med was going to lose their sports. But they saved it with heavy duty fund raising. I suggest that now would be a good time to find out how they did it and also a good time for the Sachem community to pull together and figure out non political solutions to cut spending and raise money. Involve the kids... it is their schools after all. As an example for cutting some costs, and I mentioned this months ago, check the schools LIPA bill. Is it paid through the budget? If so, get rid of those CRT monitors and replace them with LCD's. Companies like Dell will give you a break if you order enough. Make a deal (not necessarily with dell, but check around). Recycle the old monitors for $$. Cut down or out the night games. This is just one example in one area. If you all sit down and discuss ways to cut waste and raise funds, they'll be less bickering about whose fault it was that the milk was spilled.
george montalbano May 26, 2013 at 12:59 PM
If the district wants me to vote yes on their budget they will have to refuse their so called contractual raise, because I understand that making only 150,000 is a hardship, and everybody knows you must get that 15 or 20,000 dollar raise to make ends meet. I love when the teacher and administrators are there for the kid its a laugh.


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