Scarsdale Village February 14, 2017 - U
nder the expeditious treatment procedure of the Scarsdale Forum, the Executive Committee of the Forum authorized the release of the Education Committee’s report, ‘Proposal of the Education Committee for a New Paradigm of Resilient Community Problem-Solving and Development of a Long Range Financial Plan in Support of the Scarsdale Schools as Its First Design Challenge.’ The report can be downloaded
Education Committee Co-Chairs Dan Hochvert and Mayra Kirkendall-Rodríguez believe that there is a unique opportunity to engage the various constituencies of the school system (School Board, Administration, teachers, student, parents, and residents without school-age children) to collaboratively address issues facing the the Scarsdale School District.
Members of the Education Committee believe that the Board of Education (BoE) has done a good job of prioritizing teaching and learning while controlling costs. Thinking for the longer-term, Hochvert stated that ‘the Administration and the Scarsdale community must be thinking about how healthcare costs, pensions, interest rates, commodity prices, and property assessments can impact long-term financial planning for our schools.’ Committee members pointed out that while the Administration influences many of the components of the school budget, there are elements such as medicare reimbursement costs that are determined by the Federal Government.
Kirkendall-Rodríguez believes that ‘by leveraging the expertise of the School Board and Administration on the one hand, and the knowledge and enthusiasm of Scarsdale residents and community groups, we can develop a long-term financial plan that makes the District a model of resiliency in Scarsdale while generating buy-in from a wide swath of the community.’
The Education Committee believes that the concerns expressed in its report could be addressed by an open-ended community-based Design Challenge collaborative group working on the long-range financial Plan. Not only would a public discussion led by the BoE be helpful, but it would also provide an opportunity for residents to offer suggestions that could increase support for the Plan. Perhaps the development of the Plan would also benefit from input received from the collaboration of interested groups with differing perspectives. The Committee stands ready to participate in such a collaboration, no matter what the consensus outcome. The Committee also believes that it would be beneficial to develop the Plan, if feasible to do so, before the 2017-18 budget is finalized.
Hochvert and Kirkendall-Rodríguez hope that the development of the long-range financial Plan is the first of many collaborations marking a constructive “paradigm shift” in the relationship among the Board of Education, the Administration and the Forum’s Education Committee, and the wider Scarsdale community.
Questions about the Report may be addressed to the Co-Chairs, Dan Hochvert email@example.com and Mayra Kirkendall-Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*All reports are available at our website reports page
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A note about "Expeditious Treatment": A report released under this procedure has been approved by the Executive Committee of the Forum and authorized for release to the public, but it has not yet been submitted to the Forum members for their approval. Members will vote on this report at the next Membership Meeting and Public Forum Thursday March 2nd 2017