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OpEd: Yorktown students provided with balanced education senstive to taxpayers, economy

Posted By Brian Howard On January 31, 2012 @ 12:31 pm In Yorktown | Comments Disabled

The following was submitted by the administrators and trustees of the Yorktown Central School District.

This week, the Administration presented the first part of the preliminary budget for the 2012-2013 school year, beginning with athletics and co-curricular activities. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Napolitano began with the district’s budget philosophy which is to provide Yorktown students with a well-rounded and balanced educational experience that addresses the whole child. This philosophy is based on the district’s mission and core beliefs, found on the district web site at www.yorktown.org. The Superintendent continues to emphasize sensitivity to the taxpayers and to the economic climate.

The Superintendent emphasized that the majority of budget funding is earmarked to the classroom. In fact, Yorktown is fifth of 46 districts in the area relative to percentage of budget spent on instruction, based on a BOCES 200-2011 contract analysis. He highlighted the fact that the funds invested in supporting athletics and co-curricular programs in grades 6-12 extend the learning from the school day, providing the students in the largest segment of the district’s population something to add to their social, physical, artistic and character development.

Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Tom Cole reviewed the proposed athletic budget for the upcoming year, which includes 63 different sports over three seasons. The administration is proud that over 1,000 students at the high school participate in after-school athletic programs, since these and other extracurricular programs underscore the importance of wellness, character development, team thinking and action. Mr. Cole emphasized that the budget-to-budget increases in the athletic program from 2011-2012 to 2012-2013 is less than one percent, and reflects a decrease from the previous five years’ expenses.

Co-curricular activities at the middle and high schools include clubs range from musical productions to student leadership and service organizations involving approximately 1,000 students from each of the two schools (including students in multiple activities). The budget-to-budget change between the current and upcoming school years is a savings of 3.3%. The projected cost to support these programs, which provide students with significant opportunities to further character, to be of service to the community and to collaborate, is less than any of the past five years, evidence that the district continues to support athletic and other co-curricular programs in a fiscally prudent manner.

This is an important year of transition and all are asked to work together to write legislators to support mandate relief and to legislate certiorari reform. Public support is needed to help identify new funding sources, to back the local organizations that support Yorktown schools and to stay informed.

The district serves approximately 3,600 pupils in five schools: Brookside and Mohansic Elementary Schools, Crompond Intermediate School, Mildred E. Strang Middle School and Yorktown High School. Please visit the Yorktown Central School District website regularly at www.yorktown.org for updated information, including a calendar of Board of Education budget work sessions and business meetings, informative documents and links. The next budget work session will be at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, February 6, 2012 at the Mildred E. Strange Middle School cafeteria. Topics will include the Facilities, Operations and Maintenance budget discussion.

Videos of Board of Education meetings are archived and can be viewed on the district website at www.yorktown.org. Meetings are available within 48 hours at 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on FIOS Channel 27 and at the same times on Cablevision Channel 18 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

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