The School Budget
Updated: Nov 21, 2018
According to a Board of Education member, Scarsdale has allotted just 0.17% of the school budget to security. The Board President and School Superintendent, who, at the start of a security update stated unequivocally that security is a “high priority” and a “shared concern,” cannot even budget 1% of the 2019-2020 budget to protect our children. Conversely, in the recent PTC Survey which was circulated throughout the district, and as of last week had over 800 responses, 79% of survey respondents ranked Safety and Security as being one of the top three initiatives of greatest importance to them; and 57% of survey respondents ranked Safety and Security as the initiative of greatest importance to them. Clearly, the Scarsdale Board of Ed and the Superintendent are not doing much more than lip service to “sharing” this concern. Talk is cheap.
It’s that time of year again, school budget discussions. At the last Board of Education meeting, both the President of the Board and the Superintendent made statements regarding their focus on security and desire to do everything they could to protect our children. Talk is cheap, in this case very cheap. We are attempting to obtain information from other local school districts but so far we can report that Ardsley budgets 0.31% on security, almost double the Scarsdale budget. The District needs to represent the desires of the parents who, of course, pay the taxes to provide for the budget. Tell school leaders that you are not satisfied and want our kids protected. Please continue to send emails to email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com and remember there are two Board of Education seats up for election this Spring.
Speaking of the Board of Education, at the last meeting, we reported that this organization promulgated an offer from a member of the Department of Homeland Security to assess the security of one or two of our schools. The School Board President stated in open session that he would make no recommendation to the District regarding the offer but that they should let him know if they decided to allow the offer to “die on the vine.” We have an offer from a federal official to inspect our schools. The official’s sole responsibility is building security. The inspection would be at no cost to the District. But our Board of Education, AND BoE President don’t care if it happens? Does this reflect that security is a “priority”? Again, we are left with the feeling that talk is cheap. Our children’s lives are not.
* The Board member who provided the budget information to us has now informed us that the information we were provided was incomplete. This member stated that the budget for security is actually much higher. As previous information seems to have been inaccurate, we will wait until receiving details that we have requested from the District before issuing any correction. Unfortunately, this is but an example underlying our concerns with the lack of transparency regarding security in our schools.