Region 1 must be close to number 1 in the country if this story is accurate Reply

From this mornings Poughkeepsie Journal…..

Full Story link below story

ALBANY Total education spending in New York topped $60 billion during the 2013-14 school year, averaging out to $21,812 for each of the state’s nearly 3 million students, according to a report released Monday.

The analysis from the New York State Association of School Business Officials showed the state’s 679 local school districts took on the brunt of the cost, spending about $32.7 billion, which comes out to $11,888 per pupil or 54.5 percent of the total. The vast majority of the local share — about 90 percent — is covered by property taxpayers, according to the report.

The state’s share was about 41.4 percent — $24.9 billion total or $9,026 per pupil — while the federal government accounted for the rest. Overall, spending during the 2013-14 year was up about 3 percent from the previous year’s total of $58 billion. And while the state’s share has increased each year since 2010-11, it still lags behind what it was prior to the most-recent economic recession, leaving local districts to pick up the difference, the report found.

“The state share of education funding is still below pre-recession levels despite recent increases in school aid demonstrating a need for further state investment,” Michael Borges, the association’s executive director, said in a statement.

New York spends well above the nationwide per-pupil average, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to court we go (again in Region One) 1

8.12.15.complaint.deptofed-page-001PastedGraphic-1-page-001A complaint filed by town officials with the state Department of Education against the Region 1 Board of Education warrants an investigation, state Commissioner of Education Dianna R. Wentzell has ruled. In an Aug. 12 letter to Frederick Dorsey of Kainen, Escalera and McHale P.C., the attorney representing Falls Village in this matter, Wentzell stated, “I am writing
to inform you that I have found the complaint to be substantial. Consequently, I am ordering an investigation of the complaint.” The complaint alleges that the Region 1 Board of Education is failing to comply with its statutory and contractual obligations to its member boards, and town officials are asking the state to order such compliance. While the Falls Village school board held off on signing it, urging that some changes be made, Chairman Lara Mittaud eventually put her signature on it with reluctance.
She asked that a proviso be attached to the minutes stating her board’s concerns, but her request was denied. The school board and selectmen have questions about the selecting and hiring of a superintendent, and the modification of the terms of the superintendent’s salary. See today’s edition of The Republican-American for full story.

The Region One superintendents contract has extended one year even though the ABC and Region One board guaranteed two years ago that there would be no more one year extentions given with administrators contract… Reply

The following is my personal opinion. Next board of education elections, I urge for you to vote in all new members on the Region One Board. This is a very dissapointing development.

The Region One superintendents contract has extended one year even though the ABC and Region One board guaranteed two years ago that there would be no more one year extentions given with administrators contract…

By the way, to sneak this thru without having to worry about a budget defeat, they waited for the first time EVER, to do this AFTER the budget vote Is it not great We have board members (excluding Laura Mittaud) that went back on their promise of two years ago, and did not even have the guts to do it before the budget vote. Yes, that’s real leadership and honesty.

The Region 1 Board of Education and the All Board Chairmen (ABC) Committee extended Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain’s contract to 2017 during a joint meeting Wednesday, the ABC Committee recommended to the school board that one year be added to her contract, which is scheduled to end June 30, 2016. She intends to retire in June 2017. As an additional part of her agreement she will receive health insurance for two years after she retires, but the board will not contribute to her Health Savings Plan, as it does now. She will also receive an additional one-time stipend of 15 percent of her salary, a figure that does not include her current annuity. Her salary this year is $160,590. The annuity, based on 6 percent of her salary, this year comes to $9,635.

Sure lets give an additional buy-out and extra taxpayers money to a superintendent over the past four years that has done the following:

1) Cost the district almost $300,000 in legal and buyout costs with the law suit against the district against her.
2) Cost the district ovcer $25,000 in legal fees with the loss of the residency suit in Kent.
3) Cost the district almost an additional $2000,000.00 in the buyout of the former assistant superintendent.

Great use of taxpayer money Region One Board and ABC.

Ten Signs Your Child Is in a Failing School District This article says it all!!! Click the link and see how many of these apply to Region One…scary! 1

Ten Signs Your Child Is in a Failing School District

Click on above link for full story.

But as I see it, we suffer from FIVE of the ten. But the beat goes on…make sure you read the full story by clicking the link above.

2. Teachers are overwhelmed with requests for data– Any time teachers are spending more time providing data for the bean counters in administration, it is a good indication that your school has gone astray. Most of that data is supplied through the use of one practice standardized test after another. In recent years, the situation has grown worse with many school districts adding costly practice tests given multiple times during the year. These not only take away from instructional time, but they also strip the children of any love of learning and they provide overly generous fees to the testing companies. What is worse, the expensive practice tests, whether students do well on them or not, provide no guarantee of success on the high stakes test at the end of the school year.

5. The message is tightly controlled, eliminating constructive criticism– At one time, the top administrators in public school districts were invariably educators who worked their way through the system, spending years in the classroom before going into administration. Nowadays, many top administrators have only spent three years or less in the classroom and are more like CEOs and executive vice presidents than educators. This had led to a culture shift with an overemphasis on public relations. Anyone in the school district or in the community who dares to question a decision is accused of trying to “hurt the children” or “attack teachers.” When administrators surround themselves with yes-men and strictly control the message, it makes it much more likely that mistakes are going to be made, at a cost to the children and to the taxpayers.

6. School Board members serve as rubber stamps– Over the past few decades, the role of boards of education has changed dramatically. In many communities, the board of education acts more like the board of directors of a Fortune 500 company, rubber stamping whatever the superintendent or top administrator does without question. That is not what voters expect when they elect school board members. Obviously, you do not want to have board members looking over administrators’ shoulders every minute of every day, but when the board of education places blind trust in anyone it increases the odds that something disastrous will happen. One of the major criticisms lodged against board members is that they “have an agenda,” as if that is something bad. If the agenda is to stop out-of-control spending, or place more emphasis on education, what is wrong with that? When boards serve as rubber stamps for any administrator, they are effectively taking away local control of our school districts.

7,. The community is not involved in its schools- In many school districts, the community is kept at arm’s length until it is time to pass another bond issue or tax levy increase. Or the community involvement is restricted to a carefully selected group of business and civic leaders or the spouses of those leaders. A successful school district is one in which the involvement is organic and comes from all segments of the community, not just the ones who are needed when it comes time to ask for money. In some school districts, the community is asked for its input and then guided to give the input the administrators are seeking so they can say whatever initiative they have has the support of the community. That is not community involvement; that is pure spin.

8. The district is top heavy with administrators- While there is certainly a need to have strong, capable administrators directing a school district, administration tends to grow far more than is necessary, using funds that could be spent much better in the classroom. Rule of thumb, the more executive directors of anything that you have, the more problems your school district is going to have.

A quick response to my FOI request from Falls Village after reading The Republican-American this morning…. 1

I think the readers of Region One Report will find this very interesting…..

This morning (Monday at 7 AM, after reading the Republican American story on the Joint Agreement, I requested documentation from Falls Village. This is what I received a little after 9 AM this morning. I think you will find it interesting….

Good Morning Marshall:

Per your request, please find all the documents regarding Attorney Frederick Dorsey’s opinion of the the proposed joint employment agreement put forth by Gary Brochu, Regional School District #1’s attorney.  These documents include: 1.  a cover memorandum explaining Attorney Dorsey’s concerns about Mr. Brochu’s document.  2.  a second document containing the original language of Mr Brochu’s proposal and how Attorney Dorsey believes it should be modified to become legally defensible, meet all statutory requirements and to also achieve the goal that the ABC committee indicated they wanted, which was in the end, to leave the selection of the superintendent in the hands of each of the 7 Boards of Education, not a select few people who have no legal obligation to those Boards;  3. a document which is a clean copy of a proposed joint employment agreement suggested by Attorney Dorsey to achieve the goals the ABC committee indicated that they desired in this matter, which in addition creates a legally defensible document.  As you can ascertain Attorney Dorsey invited the various Boards chairs an opportunity to ask questions for any necessary clarification.

The additional two documents, one dated 4.4.15  answers questions and clarifies some items in Attorney Dorsey’s original memorandum dated 3.26.15  and sent to the Board chairs on 3.31.15, per the request of Lara Mittaud, chair of the Canaan Board of Education.   The last document is Attorney Dorsey’s biography which spells out Attorney Dorsey’s qualifications as an education attorney.

You can download the documents by clicking on them below (they are Word documents)

FRV – Supt Contract – Preface to Joint Agreement (00066278)FRV – Joint Employment Agreement 3-2015 rev 1 clean (00066348)4.4.15 CFV – Joint Agreement – Dorsey Memo to Canaan BOE 4-4-15 (00066493)-2