Letter: State aid as we knew it is gone

Editor, The Spotlight:

Is the March 12 date for the bond issue vote an attempt to disenfranchise out-of-town seniors? On the surface that would appear to be the case. I am not aware of the reasoning for selecting this date as opposed to the traditional voting date in May at the same time as the budget vote, so my assessment may be inaccurate. In any case, I would appreciate it if you would inform your readers that an application for an absentee ballot for the bond issue vote can be obtained from the district’s website, at bethlehemschools.org/


prop.html under the “Absentee ballot application...” link.

The application must be submitted in time for the ballot to be mailed to the recipient, which is a minimum of seven days before March 12.

In a related issue, I believe it is time for our school board and our superintendent to stop complaining about an unfair distribution of state aid and begin to think in a more businesslike mode. In business, when your expenses get out of control you have to rein them back in, sometimes in rather drastic and undesirable ways, or face bankrupting your business. You don’t borrow money for your day-to-day operations or capital improvements if you don’t know where the money will come from to pay back the loans.

School districts don’t face the spectre of going out of business, so they continue to ask more and more of their taxpayers and the taxpayers of New York. Sometimes budgets have to be cut in drastic ways to preserve the greatest benefit for the majority of students and taxpayers. Class sizes of 30 students may not be desirable in today’s thinking, but they were acceptable in the past and they may have to become acceptable again.

Alternate financing can be obtained by special interest groups, like turf football field supporters, by fund raising efforts of booster clubs which might then obtain matching grants from taxpayers in a bond issue. I know I would be a lot more supportive of this issue if the small group of people who want it had done some fundraising of their own before asking for more of my hard earned money!

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