May 7, 2008: Equal results for more pupil spending
To The Editor:
According the US Census, New York ranks number one in the amount that school districts spend on their students. According to the Business Council of New York, the average amount spent in New York State per student was $14,119.
In the current proposed budget for Roxbury Central School District, the board would like to spend approximately $26,805 per student, assuming 350 students and the passage of the budget for $9,382,319. By almost doubling the highest state average, it is clear that the RCS District is in a very elite position. In 2006, of the general education students attending RCS, only 31percent scored above 85 percent on the NYS Math Regents test, and only 29 percent scored above 85percent on the global history and geography tests. These are levels similar to the average for the entire state, but at almost twice the cost per student.
I feel that we can either achieve higher goals or cut the budget while maintaining a quality education for our children. As a point of reference, my son’s school has a much higher percentage receiving free lunch, 28-35 students in a class, has similar or higher scores on Regents Exams and their budget only allows approximately $8,000 to be spent on each child.
To better understand how our school functions, I would like to have the annual public meeting rescheduled to a more reasonable time, like a Saturday. A large group of tax payers in the region are second home owners and to attend a Tuesday meeting is a hardship.
Ultimately, you can argue that there is not a direct correlation from dollars spent to the results received but if you want to take that side of the coin then why should we be spending so much? Other, similar school districts achieve equal results with a budget that is a fraction of ours.