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May 17, 2022 - 10:55pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, public schools, 2022-23 budget vote, notify.

Though votes were reported as unofficial this evening, it’s apparent that Batavia City Schools’ $54.8 million budget and a related 1 percent tax levy increase passed with a vote of 301 to 108.

It was one of eight districts to report a passed 2022-23 budget. 

The other proposition on Batavia’s ballot was the election of board members for three vacant seats. Chezeray Rolle came out on top with 368 votes, followed by John Marucci and Korinne Anderson, each with 346 votes.

Alexander Central’s budget and related tax levy passed 83 to 44. Prop 2 of two bus purchases passed 92 to 35; Prop 3 to spend $56,958 from the equipment capital reserve fund passed 97 to 31; Prop 4 to establish a capital reserve fund passed 86 to 38;  Prop 5 to establish a school bus reserve fund also passed 85 to 39.

Molly Grimes received 94 votes to fill the five-year board member term, and there were several write-in suggestions for the position.

Byron-Bergen Central School’s budget passed with a vote of 244 to 98. Proposition 2 of a bus purchase was also approved 252 to 89; Prop 3 of a school vehicle reserve passed 245 to 95 and school board candidates Kimberly Carlson received 292 votes, Heidi Ball 284 and Jeffrey Cook 287.

Elba Central’s budget passed by a vote of 100 to 17. Superintendent Gretchen Rosales shared her gratitude for the positive outcome.

“I am thankful for our supportive community,” she said.  “These results demonstrate the trust the Elba community has in the district, not only to educate the students, but also to be good financial stewards of their resources.”  

Elba’s Prop 2 to purchase a school bus passed 102 to 15; Prop 3 to expend up to $100,000 on a capital outlay project through a reserve fund passed 104 to 12, and board members Travis Torrey and Mercy Caparco won a five-year term on the school board with votes of 100 and 106, respectively.

Le Roy Central's general budget passed 474 to 137 and the library budget by 509 to 103. Candidates Peter Loftus and Rachael Greene each won a three-year term on the school board with votes of 458 and 464, respectively. Jason Karcher, with 382 votes, will fill a two-year term.

Oakfield-Alabama Central’s $23.5 million budget passed 187 to 35. The district also approved the addition of a student ex-officio board member 180 to 40. Matt Lamb, with 205 votes, and Justin Staebell with 209 were each elected to three-year terms on the school board.

Pavilion Central’s budget passed 106 to 23, as did a reserve resolution by 107 to 20. Marirose Ethington received 116 votes to fill a five-year school board term.

Pembroke Central’s budget passed 272 to 98, while a school bus proposition passed 276 to 93. Ed Levinstein garnered 332 votes for a five-year school board seat and Amber Winters received 312 for a four-year board seat.

Corfu Public Library election results gave Jessica Doctor the most votes of 336 and John Conti two write-in votes, each for a three-year trustee seat; Matt Steinberg received 334 votes for a two-year trustee seat.


September 2, 2009 - 12:18pm
posted by Peter O'Brien in education, Obama, public schools.

By now, most of you parents have jeopardized your children's future by sending them off to the government to be educated. You didn't do it out of malice .. but do it you did. You put them on a school bus this morning where, essentially, they will go and learn to be good little government subjects. The government school goal is to make you're your spawn learn just enough to get by, but not enough to ask the hard questions or think for themselves. Don't believe me? Well that is, in fact, the purpose of government education. Don't take it from me, take it from this guy who was a helluvalot smarter than me. That guy would be H.L. Mencken. Here are two quotes I want you to absorb from Mencken about government education:

"The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all: it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality."

"And what is a good citizen? Simply one who never says, does or thinks anything that is unusual. Schools are maintained in order to bring this uniformity up to the highest possible point. A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still young and tender; therein they are pressed into certain standard shapes and covered from head to heels with official rubber-stamps."

Well .. here comes some more rubber stamping. On September 8th ... that's next Tuesday ... your children are going to get a welcome back to school speech from none other than President Obama. Teachers are getting ready. Perhaps you would like to read this memo from the Department of Education as to how teachers should handle this first-ever event.

OK .. everybody out there just calm down. You should have seen the email that came crashing in last night ... Obama's little talk has a mighty good number of panties in a complete wad. So let's relax for a bit and see what Obama intends to do.

We get this preview from the DOE:

"The President will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning. He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents and educators to ensure that every child in every school receives the best education possible so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives as American citizens."

As if that wasn't enough, as I told you the federal Department of Education has put together a worksheet for teachers across America so that they can properly prepare their students for the President's speech. There are some little gems in this worksheet that could be troublesome. Pretty much what you would expect, though, from government.

An example: In the teacher's worksheet the teacher is urged to discuss with the students the following questions:

  • What do you think the president wants us to do?
  • Does the speech make you want to do anything?
  • Are we able to do what President Obama is asking of us?
  • What would you like to tell the president?

Well .. how about a few more questions from the Talkmaster:

  • What are the constitutional limits on this president's power?
  • Is the president asking us to do things that are really outside of his designated powers?
  • SHOULD we do what President Obama is asking of us?
  • Do you feel the president was talking to you, or with you?

It's hard to really flesh this out until we hear Obama's speech. Trust me ... we'll be listening, and hoping for the best.

August 4, 2009 - 1:13pm
posted by Peter O'Brien in schools, teachers union, public schools, charter schools.

Teachers Unions have caused great pain in the public education system.  So much so that I believe the only way to fix it, is to abolish it.  They care more for the teachers than the studentss' education.

Here is a story from the Wall Street Journal that shows exactly what I am talking about

The conflicting interests of teachers unions and students is an underreported education story, so we thought we’d highlight two recent stories in Baltimore and New York City that illustrate the problem.

The Ujima Village Academy is one of the best public schools in Baltimore and all of Maryland. Students at the charter middle school are primarily low-income minorities; 98% are black and 84% qualify for free or reduced-price school meals. Yet Ujima Village students regularly outperform the top-flight suburban schools on state tests. In 2006, 2007 and 2008, Ujima Village students earned the highest eighth-grade math scores in Maryland. Started in 2002, the school has met or exceeded state academic standards every year—a rarity in a city that boasts one of the lowest-performing school districts in the country.

Ujima Village is part of the KIPP network of charter schools, which now extends to 19 states and Washington, D.C. KIPP excels at raising academic achievement among disadvantaged children who often arrive two or three grade-levels behind in reading and math. KIPP educators cite longer school days and a longer school year as crucial to their success. At KIPP schools, kids start as early as 7:30 a.m., stay as late as 5 p.m., and attend school every other Saturday and three weeks in the summer.

However, Maryland’s charter law requires teachers to be part of the union. And the Baltimore Teachers Union is demanding that the charter school pay its teachers 33% more than other city teachers, an amount that the school says it can’t afford. Ujima Village teachers are already paid 18% above the union salary scale, reflecting the extra hours they work. To meet the union demands, the school recently told the Baltimore Sun that it has staggered staff starting times, shortened the school day, canceled Saturday classes and laid off staffers who worked with struggling students. For teachers unions, this outcome is a victory; how it affects the quality of public education in Baltimore is beside the point.

Meanwhile, in New York City, some public schools have raised money from parents to hire teaching assistants. Last year, the United Federation of Teachers filed a grievance about the hiring, and city education officials recently ordered an end to the practice. “It’s hurting our union members,” said a UFT spokesman, even though it’s helping kids and saving taxpayers money. The aides typically earned from $12 to $15 an hour. Their unionized equivalents cost as much as $23 an hour, plus benefits.

“School administrators said that hiring union members not only would cost more, but would also probably bring in people with less experience,” reported the New York Times. Many of the teaching assistants hired directly by schools had graduate degrees in education and state teaching licenses, while the typical unionized aide lacks a four-year degree.

The actions of the teachers unions in both Baltimore and New York make sense from their perspective. Unions exist to advance the interests of their members. The problem is that unions present themselves as student advocates while pushing education policies that work for their members even if they leave kids worse off. Until school choice puts more money and power in the hands of parents, public education will continue to put teachers ahead of students.


A national voucher system would go along way towards taking power from the unions.  Obamacare says it will decrease cost while providing better service because of competition.  I don't believe that because the government doesn't have to earn a profit like a private company does.  But in the education system its been proved that private schools are much more efficient when it comes to teaching children.  They do more with less. 

Why can't competition work in education?

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