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Merger recommended

Consultants present Brocton/Westfield report

March 21, 2013

BROCTON — The consultants from Western New York Educational Service Counsel recommended the merger of the Brocton and Westfield school districts, and the State Education Department accepted their......

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(64)

Christopher

Mar-21-13 7:55 AM

Eventually, BOCES will be king. Someone ought to look at BOCES Administrative structure before they jump on that band wagon.

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DarkStar

Mar-21-13 8:03 AM

"That when negotiating new contracts for the merged district, the new board of education should start from scratch rather than level up from one contract to another. (Leveling up requires the best of both contracts be accepted.)"

Yeah, that's really going to happen.

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bulldog10

Mar-21-13 8:27 AM

Right on the money with BOCES. But then again look at who (both BOE and Administration) is running BOCES.

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bulldog10

Mar-21-13 8:28 AM

I have heard they want to close the Westfield school, is that correct?

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Christopher

Mar-21-13 8:30 AM

In my opinion, and I'd LOVE to be wrong on this, it's New York State, and all the mergers in the world aren't going to save anyone 5 cents in tax money, the entire thing will be about saving programs. A lot of that, of course, will be good, but other things that won't change are unnecessary Administrative positions and other related costs. The entrenched will use mergers to save as much of the current system as they can. It's a shame.

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HaveANiceDay

Mar-21-13 9:00 AM

County School districts is where the savings will come from. IF THEY DO IT RIGHT!!! One administration, one business office, one human resources office, one transportation office, one purchasing office, one curriculum and instruction office.........That is where the savings will be many many MILLIONS!!!!

At least that's why it's cheaper to educate down in Virginia and North Carolina. But what do I know right?

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HaveANiceDay

Mar-21-13 9:03 AM

By the way, we need a 300 PAGE REPORT to tell everyone that a school with 25 kids in a graduating class should merge????? Hello!!!!!!

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225522

Mar-21-13 9:22 AM

Another nail in the pine box for far western NY But hey call your friends and relatives to spend the summer here. Maybe the vacant schools could be turned into resorts!

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teacherteacher

Mar-21-13 9:26 AM

Nothing but misinformation from the people giving the report. Is all I have heard and seen is error after error in the facts.

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Canonball

Mar-21-13 9:46 AM

They won't close Brocton, not with Tom DeJoe around. Besides, didn't the public already vote against it? Who cares if it's highly recommended? The distance is a bit much. Who wants to drive to Brocton to pick up a kid for a doctors appointment, and then turn around and drive all the way to Mayville? They're only thinking about how they can fatten their own wallets

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HaveANiceDay

Mar-21-13 9:51 AM

I wonder where teacherteacher works?

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WestfieldRes

Mar-21-13 9:52 AM

The report was a joke. From what I heard and from the people who sat in we have never have seen or heard of so many mistakes regarding one report. From special ed to the cost of employees to contracts to buildings and on and on. One mistake after another.

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WestfieldRes

Mar-21-13 9:58 AM

The report group said the business manager at Westfield is paid more because of experience. What Al Holbrook (WACS) is paid more then Betty Deland (BCS) because of experience????? Betty has more knowledge and years on the job then Holbrook yet he is paid $40,000 a year more, WHY? The report was filled with errors like that.

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barcelona

Mar-21-13 10:04 AM

They made the report so long as to confuse as much information as possible. Yet there are more then a few people who will bring the facts to the surface. Lets hope the factfinders get the information out before the vote.

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Chuck392

Mar-21-13 10:48 AM

"At least that's why it's cheaper to educate down in Virginia and North Carolina. But what do I know right?"

Probably the biggest reason it's cheaper there is on average they pay teachers $20K less per year than they do here. For a lot of districts here that's about $2M just in wages, then figure additional savings in retirement contributions and social security.

We'll be seeing consolidations here soon, but it will be out of sheer necessity due to declining enrollment. Staffing will reduce as a result and there eventually will be savings because of all the downsizing. Consolidation, in and of itself, saves little on it's own.

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DKexpat

Mar-21-13 10:50 AM

Agree with HaveA...

My county-wide district has 3x the number of students as Chau Cty, but just one superintendent of schools, one purchasing department, one IT department, one HR department, one payroll system, etc. etc. etc.

Heck, Chau Cty could keep all the schools open if it could just consolidate all the administrative services!

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barcelona

Mar-21-13 11:24 AM

Anyone notice how much crime is being committed by Brocton residents these days. There are one or two articles a day about Brocton residents. Is this a good place to put a school?

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bulldog10

Mar-21-13 11:26 AM

Sounds like its the Brocton school or the highway for Westfield taxpayers.

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Donnar

Mar-21-13 11:32 AM

"Eventually, BOCES will be king. Someone ought to look at BOCES Administrative structure before they jump on that band wagon."

Sounds like you have an ax to grind with BOCES. I wonder if you would have raised the same question while you were still employed there?

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listen

Mar-21-13 11:35 AM

If they take Westfield's school the Village of Westfield won't take long before it has the looks of Ripley, Stockton and the Village of Cassadaga. No school, no walkers, why live in Westfield? Remember how hard Westfield fought to keep its hospital?

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Chuck392

Mar-21-13 1:25 PM

DKexpat - It will take a lot more than centralized administration to create meaningful savinge here, but it would be a start. I've talked with people who have run the numbers on that subject and I'm told it would be minimal. My own calculations concur. Remember, your area is paying their teachers considerably less that what's paid here. That's a real big savings. When the dust settles here there will be closed buildings, far less teachers and consolidated administration. Probably decreased curriculum as well. Then, and only then, will we realize meaningful savings.

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commentor

Mar-21-13 1:39 PM

I don't think I read anything about closing any buildings. If closing Brocton School is involved they will vote no merger like they did for Fredonia. I don't think you will see a merger. As to the committee that did the study and the errors. Same when the Fredonia merger was done. You need to have people with no interest in either school and people qualified to do such studies. Certainly some of the people on the committee that did the Fredonia study were not in the least bit qualified. They based their decisions on personal feelings.

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DKexpat

Mar-21-13 1:51 PM

Chuck, here in Northern VA the teacher pay scale is nearly identical to Chau Cty, including starting pay for new teachers.

Because we're a growing county (population nearly doubled in the past 10 years), we add +/- 3,000 new students/year, add 2-3 new schools/year, and hire 300-500 new teachers/year.

The problem for new public employees here is their wages aren't high enough to buy a home...or even a townhouse. (The avg. SFH is over $500k.) So many "get their spurs" here, then move after a couple of years to somewhere they can afford to live/buy something.

One way Chau Cty districts lose out is in economy of scale. Example: Who gets a better price on fuel for school buses? The person buying for, say, just Brocton – or someone buying for ALL of the county’s buses?

Also, Chau Cty taxpayers spend $3 million more – every year – for all its superintendents than my county does for one...for 3x more students.

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Christopher

Mar-21-13 1:55 PM

No more axe to grind than my former place of employment, OMRDD. Administrative costs in every large New York State entity seems to have a life of their own. I support many of BOCES programs whole heartedly. I support a great many of the people there doing great work. But it does have a large administrative structure compared to most schools. As a tax payer, I support putting a lot more money into those who work than those who administrate. I've made the same exact statements about New York State and the Federal government. I wrote a whole column about OMRDD, and others about Federal excesses. I'm consistent, agree with me or not.

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Christopher

Mar-21-13 4:21 PM

DKexpat, question: How many assistants does your one superintendent have, and how much do they make? I have a feeling in new York, and again based on my own experience working for the state, that if we had a county-wide school system, there would be so many assistants to the assistants that we wouldn't save a dime on admin. costs, the only savings would be in the bulk purchases, etc. That's what happened in the old OMRDD system. They eliminated some admin positions, replaced them with a lower paid position, and over time hired 3 times as many of them. Bureaucracy is the driving force behind New York States spending.

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