April 4, 2011
To the Editor,
I attended the Springs School budget meetings. I pay taxes in Springs, and I am in shock.
For starters, the homeowners in the happy hamlet of Springs already pay the highest school taxes on the East End — higher than Montauk, higher than Amagansett, East Hampton Village, and Wainscott. East Hampton Town Board, are you listening?
So now the Springs School Board has just gotten a million-dollar refund windfall from East Hampton (which is a story unto itself) and in its wisdom has announced that we shall only have a 5.3-percent school budget increase this year. Before this said windfall was announced, the board was touting a possible 12-percent budget increase — so we who pay the taxes should be grateful, I guess.
We are buying yet another school bus (we have a fleet), and we have just given the superintendent a juicy $20,000 raise. How can we afford to buy a new 60-seat bus when we cannot afford the price of gas! Has anyone noticed gas prices lately? I question these decisions.
A new teachers’ contract has yet to be ratified, and last time I looked, the Springs School had approximately 84 employees, everything from bus drivers to office administrators, including a superintendent and principal, teachers, teacher assistants, and special needs teachers, etc.
We all are pretty much products of the public education system, we all support it, and we realize that education is very important to our way of life. We all want the best for our children. All I am asking is that in this shrinking economy that has affected us all, we stop expanding the Springs School budget.
This school’s appetite keeps increasing; it’s voracious. There seems to be no equilibrium. Where is the austerity? Where is the realization that Springs residents are not a cash cow? We get hammered every year. Springs residents are reeling in this economy, like everyone else. And Springs residents are upset.
The school administration, the school board, and the school PTA have all asked the residents of Springs to support this budget. I cant. Can you?