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Apr 6, 2011 11:33 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton School Districts Reach Tuition Deal

Apr 6, 2011 11:33 AM

Members of the Springs School Board announced on Friday that an agreement had been made with the East Hampton School Board to reduce the tuition fees charged to districts that send their high school students to East Hampton High School.

The new deal will run to 2015 and is expected to save Springs an estimated $1.2 million in this year’s budget in large part because East Hampton will refund a portion of the amounts charged for this year. Springs expects to receive approximately $860,000 from that refund.

Board members said the immediate savings would avert a fiscal crisis this year. At recent budget work sessions, the board has said if a tuition deal was not reached, district voters would face a 12-percent tax hike unless drastic spending cuts were made elsewhere.

The Springs School Board also announced that it would drop its effort to create a charter school and would “move forward on a study of reorganization/consolidation” with East Hampton.

“While it has been a long, long road, we know have the basis for a new relationship with East Hampton,” said Springs School Board President Christopher Kelley in a release. “We would like to thank the leadership on the East Hampton School Board and all those on the East Hampton side who were open and responsive to working together for the benefit of our communities.”

Mr. Kelley was joined by board Vice President Kathee Burke Gonzalez, Theresa Schurr and Thomas Talmage as well as former board member Charles Hitchcock, who helped work out the deal and Superintendent Michael Hartner, whom Mr. Kelley praised for his “tenacity” on behalf of district taxpayers.

Under the deal, there will be a 12-percent reduction in the high school tuition rate the first year of the agreement, to $22,741, from $25,842, Mr. Hartner said. In future years, the tuition will be capped at 95 percent of the Seneca Falls formula, a state formula that outlines how districts can charge other districts for tuition.

Last year, the Springs began to allow its students to choose the high schools they would attend. Several students are now attending Pierson High School in Sag Harbor and the Bridgehampton High School. Students currently attending those schools will be allowed to graduate from them. Beginning with the 2011-12 school year, students who want to attend Pierson or Bridgehampton will have to receive the permission of the East Hampton School Board to do so.

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Well, well.

Someone came to the startling conclusion, that you can't kill a cow, for steak.
By Mr. Z (11659), North Sea on Mar 26, 11 3:53 AM
this is good news for springs this year, but the district still is overpopulated for its tax base and lacks commercial real-estate, in other words this was like a life-line til next year, and then the following year and so and and so on, especially as the school's population continues to grow. the school has to hope that the town will strictly enforce the housing code and get the illegal renters and multi-family violators out of springs. if the school can lose 100-200 kids, it could pay for all ...more
By snapper (17), springs on Mar 26, 11 9:58 AM
Well - you have a few things in here that are correct Snapper . . . it is the most "densely" populated hamlet (by design) - it has no real commercial tax base (by design) - but your implication that "getting rid" of 100-200 kids that live in "illegal" houses - that IS what you meant, isn't it? - would somehow alleviate the tax burden Is WAY OFF base!! If you have been at these budget hearings someone asked Board how much the school "population" K-8, has grown in the last 10 years - the answer was ...more
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Mar 26, 11 7:56 PM
the district has increased by much more than 50 students, that is totally incorrect data
By snapper (17), springs on Mar 27, 11 7:32 AM
I am not including HS students in "the District" or the pre-K program. What kids are you including? I am talking about the number of kids that have actually been enrolled in K-8 over the last decade. If I am correct - which I am - the number has increased from 554 to 607, to be exact. So will you please stop spewing this "get rid of 100 - 200 "illegal" kids - malarky . . . the numbers speak for themselves in a data collection report prepared by the BOCES office of School Planning and Research. ...more
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Mar 27, 11 12:06 PM
it is much more than 607, its over 700
By snapper (17), springs on Mar 27, 11 4:51 PM
Again - are you including the pre-K program?!? Let's be honest with the numbers - either you know them or you do not . . . the pre-k program is not K-8 and could be cut entirely to save money . . . I'm not advocating for that but the REALITY is . . . my parents (mother) didn't have a free socializing/babysitting program to send me (for FREE) to while they worked, or just wanted all of us kids out of their hair for 3 hours every day - parents can pay for these programs privately, or maybe some can't ...more
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Mar 28, 11 10:53 PM
Congratulation to the new board members in East Hampton! Now all we need to do is get rid of the rest of the dead wood on that board and the administrators that split East Hampton apart in the first place.
By phins (43), East Hampton on Mar 26, 11 11:55 AM
The article doesn't mention how they plan to come up with the 12% they are savings springs. Does anyone know if it's through job cuts or increased taxes to school taxes to other east Hampton residents
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Mar 26, 11 2:11 PM
Good point razza. The word is EH is cutting everything drastically to come up with this savings. So this savings for Springs residents (myself included) comes with a cost to our children in the HS.


By YEAROUNDER (81), East Hampton on Mar 28, 11 11:19 AM
Once the taxpayers for EH school district find out that these savings are coming off the backs of their kids, then this board will voted out as well.
By YEAROUNDER (81), East Hampton on Mar 28, 11 11:19 AM
This deal really stinks for Sag Harbor and bridgehampton. Do you think the EH school board will allow any kids from Springs go to Sag Harbor and BH and not get that tuition money? No way. A source of revenue for the Sag Harbor School and BH Districts has disappeared and will disappear permanently in 3 years.
By mrmako61 (148), southampton on Mar 26, 11 4:07 PM
And for parents who WANT to send their kids to Pierson or BH . . . this REALLY has to be followed closely as I thought the same thing . . . why would we need EH's "permission" to do that? There is nothing, NOTHING transparant about what is going on here and, quite frankly, I wouldn't trust any deals Chris Kelley makes with anyone . . . there is always a motive for him to do anything which rarely has to do with the "good" of the community . . .
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Mar 26, 11 11:02 PM
Finally!
I just hope this doesn't take the pressure off the Springs School Board to keep finding ways to save money. They still need to deal with the teachers (no contract, but still getting 5 to 6% "step" raises in a down economy), and with overpaid superintendents at both schools. Not to mention that the retiree pension and medical costs are going to keep ballooning. The Springs school district should really have a say in the hiring of the next EHHS Superintendent - let's hope Gualtieri ...more
By jperrier (53), Springs on Mar 26, 11 6:30 PM
Does anyone really believe that the members of these local school boards actually have the experience/qualifications to make these kinds of decisions?
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Mar 28, 11 11:46 AM
1 member liked this comment
the problem is school board memebers are unpaid. Who wants it? Its is a thankless job. With that said I do agree 100% that they have done a pathetic job.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Mar 28, 11 3:22 PM
Chris Kelley thinks he does - obviously. Threatening the HS with law suits and building a HS in Springs for Montauk and Springs, and then backing down at the last minute to save the day with "only" a 5% increase and selling out parents and taxpayers on the option to send kids to other districts?!? Putting the blame on the Town Board for not cracking down on those "illegals"?? Great theatrics. Pay attention and applaud if you don't mind getting kicked in your tax bill again . . . just look at ...more
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Mar 28, 11 11:01 PM
The entire idea of local school boards is, in my opinion, a bad one. As stated above, credit them for taking on these thankless positions, but the folks who sit on these boards simply are not qualified to make the decisions they are being asked to make. It is silly to expect them to do so. These types of budgeting issues should be resolved by teachers, administrators, and superintendents - they know what is best for the kids and they have the necessary expertise.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Mar 28, 11 5:28 PM
1 member liked this comment
Dag, with all due respect putting teachers in charge because they know what's best for the kids is a terrible idea. We need people who are fiscally responsible and are not making decisions based on emotion. The big question I have is dr gualtieri. How is this guy still in charge? He is the first guy that needs to go. He is grossly over paid and has been in charge of this whole mess from the get go!!
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Mar 28, 11 9:14 PM
2 members liked this comment
Start at the top..As in Supt Gualtieri..and he can take along his sidekick, Soriano..hey with a few less Huge adminstrative salaries gone, the budget looks great! Why Do we need Directors for each Dept as in ahtletics,Guidance(??), and 3 asst principals floating in the high school??
By gansetteer (125), East Hampton on Apr 16, 11 11:36 AM
yes that's a great idea lets put the people who have run up these tremendous school budgets in charge of everything, I'm sure they will be unbiased and fiscally responcible.Let's have the fox guard the hen house.
By maxwell (169), speonk on Apr 4, 11 11:21 AM
Snapper - I am curious as to those numbers I was "wrong' about - your silence is deafening . . . will be looking for you (and your agenda which is obviously not based on facts or backed up by anything other than your "beliefs" and misleading information) in other posts ---
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Apr 4, 11 10:56 PM
The Springs School board said they had 33 ideas presented by Hartner to reduce costs. After getting the rebate from the high school, guess how many are being implemented? ZERO!!! What happened to fiscal responsibility? Why won't they at least do some of the ideas (like departmentalize 6th, 7th, and 8th, grades, reduce the number of periods from 9 to 8, and save almost half a million dollars?
By jperrier01 (5), Springs on Apr 9, 11 9:55 AM
Good question . . . it appears they will do nothing until their budget is voted down -- it is simply nbelievable to me that they find "only" a 5% tax increase acceptable . . . it isn't.
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Apr 9, 11 11:12 AM
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