Richfield Springs Mercury - Online Newspaper
 
A weekly newspaper published every Thursday. Distributed and sold through subscriptions and outlets.
Covering: Richfield Springs · West Winfield · Springfield Center · Roseboom · Middlefield · Columbia Center · Millers Mills · Cedarville · Cherry Valley · Fly Creek · Cooperstown · Mohawk · Sharon Springs
Vol. 112 - Issue 1, Wednesday, September 15, 2010
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HISTORIC ISSUES
Vol.6 No.51 - 7/6/1872
Vol.17 No.2 - 7/15/1882
Courtesy of the New York State Historical Association Library, Cooperstown, N.Y (.PDF files)
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Letters to the Editor


School spending questioned

We were present at an information forum presented by the Richfield Springs school district (RSCS) on Tuesday, Feb. 3rd. The superintendent, with assistance from the board of education president, outlined possible sharing of various services between RSCS and other nearby districts. It was said that nothing is set at present but being investigated. However, it would appear to be a step in the right direction to control costs.

The questions from parents focused mainly on preserving football at RSCS. While I know this is an important issue for many in our community, I had hoped to also get more information about sharing of educational issues. There was a curious lack of attendance of our retired community. (Superintendent Robert) Barraco stated there is a significant decrease in enrollment at RSCS since 2005. I would like to ask the Mercury staff, or anyone privy to the information, to educate us on how the salaries of our superintendent, administrative staff and teaching staff compare to the four districts in close proximity to RSCS and also to provide information on present enrollment.

We are a “graying” community with no industry and few jobs available to support our school, community and township. Many exist solely on social security. The following is copied from a recent editorial in the OD: “Superintendents and school boards across the state complain about mandates, yet they control 70-75 percent of their budgets: Salaries and Benefits. The state doesn’t control salaries and health benefits. School boards do. Only pension contributions are set by the state...some area teaching and non-teaching staff pay as little as $500 a year for family health coverage...Private sector employees may pay as much as $6,000. Taxpayers are at the breaking point with unbridled public employee benefits costs. Contracts with three to four percent salary increases, plus longevity pay, etc., are no longer sustainable...”

How does RSCS’s enrollment and staffing expenses compare with, for instance, the larger district of Mt. Markham? Does anyone have the answers? Hopefully some of these issues will come up at budget hearings in the next few weeks. Unfortunately we are unable to attend Wednesday evening sessions. So I hope more forums to educate the public will be forthcoming.


Monica Peters

Town of Richfield


 


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