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Missed opportunity

Brocton says yes, but Westfield rejects plan to merge school districts

October 10, 2013

WESTFIELD — The proposed merger between Brocton Central School and Westfield Academy and Central School has officially been defeated by voters in Westfield’s district....

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Oct-12-13 8:09 AM

I'm reading all these comments and hearing in the community how people are upset about how their students won't get a good education, not get into a good college, etc. I would like to say I took my son out of school up here because he was being incessantly bullied, and with no help from the administration. I home schooled my son and only did the basic classes. No college placement classes, nothing fancy. People thought I was crazy and kept telling me the same thing - he'll never get into college. Well, he's now attending a very good college in Chicago, and all his professors tell him he's one of the best students they have. One recently told him that he "could teach his peers a thing or two." So just get them back to the basics and you may find out that they will do just fine.

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Oct-11-13 4:59 PM

The sad truth may be that some communities can no longer afford their own school system. In that case the best answer might be to dissolve the district and split the students between Fredonia and Westfield.

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Oct-11-13 6:47 AM

Wow, a lot of postings and a lot of crying losers.

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Oct-11-13 1:51 AM

So many things to say - but really what it boils down to at the end of the day is the deal wasn't a no-brainer for Westfield residents. That was bore out in the final verdict, and that's why it wasn't pushed through. Doesn't make any difference who spent more money, who campaigned, who sent out flyers. People had doubts, valid or not. And they spoke. Doesn't make them bad people, or wrong necessarily.

Westfield's school isn't perfect from what I can tell. Their school may have leaks in ceilings and not everything may be sunny and perfect, but at the end of the day its still running, no?

To my knowledge, the students at Westfield still get a great education - the majority of the teachers that taught me nearly 2 decades ago are still there. Were a few electives cut? Of course. Dwindling population = class cuts.

I am pretty sure math/science/social studies/english are still being taught, correct? And I can guarantee there are more electives now than were there when I was a stude

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Oct-10-13 11:19 PM

The interesting thing is the county-wide district has a county-wide school board which crafts the annual school budget -- but it's the county legislature that approves it as part of the overall county budget/tax rate.

That serves as a "sanity check" on schooling costs. Example: During the recession we had a 3-year wage freeze for all county employees, including teachers, which helped keep the tax rate flat. (It actually went down a couple of pennies.) Contrast that with raise after raise in WNY districts where taxpayers can least afford tax increases.

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Oct-10-13 11:10 PM

Localresident, I think it's a "cultural thing" common in the South, so nothing new. As advanced as our schools are, e.g., opening a STEM high school this year, it's somewhat ironic the same area closed a public schools 45-50 years ago rather than integrate.

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Oct-10-13 10:24 PM

Only reason....

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Oct-10-13 10:24 PM

DK, I'm curious, do you know how long your county/state has been operating in the current school admin configuration? Is this a recent thing, or has it been like this all along? Joy reason I ask is because I wonder if things are more flexible/welcome to change there.

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Oct-10-13 9:06 PM

This whole process reminds me of the PSA's from the late 1980's when I was graduation HS. It was a principal/school head announcing "Congratulations! Your generation is the first to actually have a dimmer future than your parents did.". Meanwhile, the unions and administrations ignore the prediction, and*****the torpedoes and full speed ahead! WNY is a prime example of that PSA, period, and yet, not one school district here (much less the entire area) has opted to do the right thing and do what's ultimately best for students, property owners and parents. Sad.

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Oct-10-13 9:00 PM

DK, after umpteen decades of schools with attendance growing each year, no one here knows how to handle declining enrollment properly. Heads in the sand, and the mantra "it's only temporary and will turn around" is the snake oil fix, apparently.

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Oct-10-13 8:58 PM

Really, the best way to figure out a proper merger is to have a third party determine the best course of action, not both of the affected administrations. NY Education department, make it happen correctly. Too bad they won't. It'll just be a boondoggle/mess/free-for-all. We really need to adopt the method used by DKexpat's county. And fast.

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Oct-10-13 8:55 PM

Bill, I misunderstood your earlier post. It came across as if you were bragging about the cost pers student, but now I see your point. I agree, it should not cost anywhere near what it does to educate a student in grade school, but I think college professors make a lot less than school teachers. It should NOT be that way, especially when accounting for room/board, but that's the way it is now. The merger between the two schools is right, but I do fear both administrations will F it up, refusing to give up head count.

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Oct-10-13 5:50 PM

Hopefully, the State will force Westfield, Ripley and Sherman to merge into Chautauqua Lake. That would make sense. Now, how do we do that?

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Oct-10-13 5:17 PM

I guess all those disagreeing with - - "Our spending per pupil was $11,595 this year...1/3 to 1/2 less than many school districts in Chau Cty" - -

- - think it's jes' fine to spend 50-100% more per pupul, think it makes sense to support inefficiency, duplication of services, layer-up-layer of administration, fractured IT, personnel and purchasing policies, and other wasteful spending.

Short-sighted, parochial, stuck-in-the-mud people like that who enjoy inefficiency and wasting taxpayer dollars should be taxed at a higher rate than common-sense folks with a smidgen of understanding of economy of scale.

"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” ~ Albert Einstein

Go ahead, stuck-in-the-mudders, click 'disagree' again. :-)

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Oct-10-13 4:09 PM

Schools all over the country are facing consolidation/budget cuts. Wall St and the military industrial complex are flourishing though. We, as a country, need to get our priorities straight. Less war profiteering, heck, less war all around. Less propping up Wall St and more propping up Main St. Spend those trillions here at home. Then we wouldn't be voting on school consolidation in communities all over America.

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Oct-10-13 4:08 PM

Clowns that tax decrease would have been overrun by the additional transportation costs not in the study but which were mention by Westfield residents. Also, remember that illegal safety zone, that has to be paid back it was not in the study. Again that raises taxes. There were also numerous start up costs which were not in the study. Add it all up and its a tax increase for Westfield residents from day one.

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Oct-10-13 3:56 PM

DKexpat, that sounds great, unfortunately this plan would not have resulted in the efficiency you see. Taxes would have gone up due to this plan. If we see savings (25% or more) we will vote yes. This was not that plan.

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Oct-10-13 3:52 PM

Clowns, that minute tax reduction is utilizing millions and millions if dollars if state aid. That aid is still tax money, it doesn't just fall from the sky. It also does not last forever. Once it runs out, local taxes will be forced up to make the difference. And that increase will be HUGE! A plan could easily be developed to have a huge savings in expendatures while have increased educational opportunities. Sadly, this was not that plan.

Good idea, bad plan.

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Oct-10-13 3:48 PM

Bill you keep speaking of raising your taxes if merger went through. I see a .17 cent decrease in your taxes according to the merger study. Where are you getting your figures from? A cracker jack box?

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Oct-10-13 3:41 PM

Of course everything is higher in NY, just like everything is bigger in Texas.

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Oct-10-13 3:40 PM

Wait I see you claimed it was $11,000. You are getting good bang for the buck. See a merger between Westfield and Brocton would have increased my Westfield taxes. That was a key.

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Oct-10-13 3:39 PM

Dkexpat, what does it cost per student where you live. Total taxes divided by number of students, for example the district you live in. That would be interesting.

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Oct-10-13 3:35 PM

My county here in the DC area has consolidated services – schools, highway, fire, police, etc.

My property tax rate is $1.245/thousand. Yes, housing is much expensive here, but my rate has gone down the past 4 years – and will do so again for 2013-14. And I receive only one bill – it covers ALL of the above services, including schools, for that $124.5/thousand.

Our spending per pupil was $11,595 this year - - yup, 1/3 to 1/2 less than many school districts in Chau Cty. Quality of education at that price? Our schools are nationally recognized/ranked by one measure or another, and some people in the DC area move INTO my county because of the school district.

Our superintendent – for 70,000 students, mind you – costs us $3 million less per year – PER YEAR – than what you’re paying for all the supers in Chau Cty. So keep spending your hard-earned dollars on layer-upon-layer of administrative overhead...and tell me how that helps kids.

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Oct-10-13 3:29 PM

The promerger gang wouldn't spend a dime, to cheap. They want to spend everyone elses money in taxes. But they hate spending their own. They drink the kool-aid or in proconserv case too much beer.

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Oct-10-13 3:27 PM

Prove that the mailing was wrong. Prove it, don't say it, don't twist it, prove it. Go to court and prove it. Spend your money tighty

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