Sachem Central School District, a Long Island leader in sports and academics, recently had a failed proposed budget for a 7.49% tax increase as of May 21st, with 54% voting “yes” – not meeting the necessary 60% “yes” vote required for approval. With this increase defeated, a suggested 3.14% tax raise has been proposed for the revote on June 18th, prompting my petition. As a Sachem High School East Junior, this issue is of great importance to me, because in directly impacts the quality of my education.
Currently, the petition for federal aid for the school district on the White House government website “We The People” has garnered well over one thousand signatures. The petition underscores the fact that under the current proposal, there will still be numerous cutbacks:
- Half-day kindergarten will be instituted in lieu of full-day
- Elementary/secondary class sizes will be astronomically enlarged
- The Gifted and Talented Education, science research, and 50% of the music & library programs will all be eliminated
- All non-varsity sports, the Arrowettes dance team, cheerleading, and marching band will be cut
- All extra-curricular clubs, activities, and quite possibly honor societies will be decimated.
If this bare bones budget alone is not passed and the tax levy yields to an austerity vote, there will be a total elimination of kindergarten, closing of schools, reduction of occupational education, and the sale of entire soccer fields – cutbacks that will impact the entire local community.
Sachem is not a wealthy district like many of those nearby. However, the district is fiscally responsible, one of the largest in New York, and full of ambitious students that will simply not have the same opportunities that I have been so fortunate to have had in the past decade. I merely ask that you allow my hopes to persist by easily signing the petition at www.wh.gov/Ssmu and, if you live within the district’s borders, to come out and vote “yes” for the revote at any Sachem elementary school on June 18th, or by even using one of the absentee ballots available at Sachem.edu.
The 3.14% budget revote will only cost taxpayers $0.55 extra per day in comparison to the previous rate, amounting to $202 on average for the year. For those who do not have children enrolled in the district, or are not convinced that the Board of Education allocates taxpayer money properly enough, I assure you that I will do everything in my power to reform the system to ensure that every cent is spent responsibly so that following years may expect lower tax rates.
We need your help.
By: Alex Volpicello