On Monday, January 14, 2013, the Rocky Point School Board will hold the first 2013-2014 school budget workshop. The meeting will be held at the Frank J. Carasiti (FJC) School at 5:30 PM in Room 135. The FJC School is located at 90 Rocky Point Road; the entrance is on the right after the high school.
I start this year’s budget season optimistically. I hope the residents will be met with an environment of inclusion and transparency. I hope that the budget “workshop” will be an exchange of ideas and concerns between the BOE and the residents and not a “presentation” of decisions that have already been made by the administration and the BOE.
I hope it will not be a repeat of last year’s budget cycle during which parents were threatened with cutbacks in kindergarten as a justification for piercing the 2 percent tax cap.
One parent expressed what should happen this year at the June 18, 2012, BOE meeting: “I supported the board’s decision to pierce the tax cap … [but] next year’s budget should not pierce the cap and sacrifices must be made in order to bring the budget numbers within the parameters of the tax cap” (from the minutes of the June 18, 2012, BOE meeting). I can only hope that the Board will heed her suggestion.
However, optimism aside, I am disappointed that the budget meeting is scheduled for 5:30 PM. Most people who do not work within the education system will find it difficult to attend a meeting held at this time. As in the past when the Board schedules “public” meetings at this time, I question if they really want the public to attend.
That same evening there is a regular Board of Education meeting at 7:00 PM in the FJC library.
I encourage everyone to attend.