Based on stimulus package allocation figures recently released by the Department of Education in Washington, D.C. New Rochelle may be looking at an astounding $19 mm windfall from New York State's share of DoE allocations under the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009 -- none of which is accounted for under the recently proposed New Rochelle school budget which is up for vote in May 19th.
New Rochelle schools may also be getting millions for infrastructure projects. The City School District of New Rochelle has so far refused to provide the public with its list of infrastructure requests although John Quinn, Assistant Superintendent for Finance, did reveal at a recent budget workshop that a multi-million dollar request to replace all the roofs at New Rochelle public schools had been submitted to Albany.
This would be in addition to the $8 million in new spending requested by the City School District of New Rochelle under their newly released "preliminary budget". Further, the District has squirreled away millions of dollars in reserves as a "rainy day fund" and has expressed some optimism that $4.2 million in state aid cuts by Gov. David Paterson maybe returned to the District.
School Tax Increase May Double District's "Conservative" EstimateRead more
Last night at the school board meeting I pointed out a line item in the school budget -- $40,000 for culinary arts program -- and attempted to confirm that this line item referred to the MacMenamin's Grill deal we have written about in the past.
I wished to ask the board whether spending $40,000 next year, for a total of $175,000 since 2006 on gourmet cooking classes for students at MacMenamin's Grill was the most cost efficient way to offer such a program as taxpayers already fund BOCES which offers vocational training in the culinary arts.Read more
EDITOR'S NOTE: Dr. Joseph issued a public statement on his personal web site stating that the Journal News article inaccurately reported on his testimony in the case and that concerns expressed by Talk of the Sound were unfounded. Readers may also wish to read: Farewell, Dr. Joseph -- New Rochelle Says Goodbye to a Principal Who Made a Difference in Many Lives
There is apparently some notion out there within the school district that because Dr. Yigal Joseph testified as a prosecution witness in last week's federal corruption trial that this somehow an indication that he did not do anything wrong. As far as we know, Dr. Joseph continues to be employed by the District and is responsible for hundreds of students and staff - and large sums of money. I would ask that readers review this post and weigh in on whether that makes any sense to them in light of the documents below.Read more
New Rochelle Police were back over at Isaac E. Young Middle School recently, this time to investigate a burglary. As this is an ongoing investigation, police have asked that we not release details of the crime or crime scenes beyond saying that there was an unauthorized entry for purposes of criminal mischief including marking school property with graffiti. Police described the case as having a "high solvability" factor.
Sounds like someone or some people would be wise to consider turning themselves into police. Everyone knows its better to have come forward, come clean and cooperated with police when you are standing in front of a judge.Read more
I go to the New Rochelle High School and the books they give us is not what I call good reading. The PARENTS should have the decision on what books the students should read not the school board, if they do give the parents that they shouldn't give them a list let the parents choose what books are appropriate and good in literature A.K.A. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, that book has excellent foreshadowing and giving excellent feelings and strong thoughts about the book, the stuff they give us A.K.A. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. That book is so dry that i can pour water on it and it will turn to dust. There is not a lot of good foreshadowing or something to pull the reader in. My English teacher (not going to mention names) tells us that the book has great foreshadowing and stuff like that. The school district gets (very very very rough estimate) $96,000 dollars for books and they give us the old not good foreshadowing, don't get me wrong I would like to read Romeo and Juliette, that book/script has some good foreshadowing, well what can we do the school district "thinks" they know whats best for us. Well I think there wrong I think there is time for change in the school board, There needs to be drastic measures.Read more
The City School District of New Rochelle put out the following press release (h/t Hall Monitor)
The New Rochelle High School chapter of the National Art Honor Society inducted 15 new members during a ceremony held Wednesday morning, March 11 at the school. The students qualified for members based on three measures: Artistic Scholarship and Achievement; Character, and Service.
New inductees are Kelsey Francella, Amy Ginghold, Alica Heinemann, Karen Hernandez, Sergio Hernandez, Danielle Kleinman, Julia Marvel, Victor Morales, Jessica Orellana, Yumna Piracha, Victoria Stoerger, Wajiha Syed, Janneth Valencia, Aleksander Vukasinovic, and YanetZepeda.
At the "budget workshop" otherwise known as the school board meeting under another name, there was some confused looks around the room when John Quinn told board members that the money indicated in the 2009-10 column of the budget is not what the district is planning to spend in 2009-10 but rather what the district was in the midst of spending this year. Quinn said this approach was standard accounting. I cannot imagine that even the New Rochelle School District would not follow standard accounting practice.
To try to understand this, I called the folks at NYSED to get clarification and they pointed me to this page
I am not an accountant and this sort of stuff makes my head hurt so maybe some bright, motivated reader will take a look and see if they help the rest of us understand why the school district presents its budget this way.
In either case, how do we find out what we thought we were learning by reading the budget -- how much is the district going to be spending during 2009-10 on salaries and benefits (and everything else)? In my day of learning about school budgets -- reading, interviews with government officials in New Rochelle and Albany, etc. -- I came away with two initial conclusions.Read more