(Editor's Note: The following is a letter sent to Patch from Miller Place School District resident Wlodek Guryn. The views expressed are that of Mr. Guryn's.)
By: Wlodek Guryn
There is a survey on the Miller Place School District website, which is designed to totally distract from the real issues in this budget season. I hope MPSD taxpayers and residents join me requesting that the survey is taken off the taxpayers supported MPSD website.
As an example, below is, at best, a misleading question in the survey. Many, if not all the costs listed in the question from the survey are directly or indirectly under the local Board of Education/district control, the only thing needed is opening and renegotiating of the contracts so that they are in line with what the community can afford. (The question is bolded and my comments are italicized.)
School district expenses are expected to increase next year due to
costs that are beyond the school district’s control.
• Health insurance will go up by 14%
This cost is a negotiated item, which is not mandated by the state.
Renegotiating the contracts can bring it down.
• Teacher Retirement System payments will rise by 33%
Those depend on the salaries in the district so they can be controlled by the contracts also. In addition there are provisions in the contract that allow a high payout for accrued sick balance which contribute to the high cost of the pensions.
• Employee Retirement System payments will rise by 40 percent.
• Contractual Salary increase per collective bargaining agreements
Opening of the contracts can control these and we can not afford
highly overpaid administrators.
• Cost of Fuel for transportation is expected to increase.
This is not a very big part of the cost.
• New State-required educational changes adding tens of thousands of dollars
Given the two percent property tax levy cap, do you believe that the school district can continue to provide the same level of programs and
services to students without exceeding the cap?
Yes it can be, providing that the contracts are renegotiated.
The BOE must request that the survey is taken off the MPSD web site.