OSSINING, N.Y. TheDailyOssining.com accepts signed, original letters to the editor. Letters may be emailed to email@example.com.
To the Editor, There is a very important school budget vote in Ossining May 15. It is important both that we keep property taxes manageable and we maintain the quality of education. Supporting this budget will help keep our schools strong, and strong schools are at the heart of a strong community, keeping Ossining a great place to live.
We believe we are at a tipping point. Over the past four years while enrollment has risen by 347 students, 100 positions have been cut. The result: Class sizes are increasing. As class size is a primary indicator of school quality, the quality of our children's education is being compromised. The values of our homes also are at risk. The school districts proposed budget does not reverse these trends, but prevents them from getting significantly worse. If the budget fails, we must use a contingency budget that allows for no increase, meaning drastic cuts to the schools' education, arts and sports programs.
This fiscally responsible budget is below Ossining's state-mandated tax cap increase despite the increase in unfunded state and federal mandates. To do this without more drastic cuts in classroom teachers, more than $3 million has been cut from transportation costs and the employee health care plan. Help to preserve excellence in education for our children and our community by voting yes on the budget, Tuesday, May 15 at OHS.