Highland Budget Vote Exit Poll, May 15, 2012

- Consider consolidation with other local school districts for cost efficiency (New Paltz, Marlboro, etc)

- Additional consideration should be given to lowering administrative costs.

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- There are still some things that could be cut with little student impact like the Assistant Superintendent position. In this economy the funds could be used in other areas that would better benefit the students.

- If we have to cut extra and co-curricular activities, parents should have the option of picking up the costs.

- Parents should not have to bear additional costs for their children to participate in sports or Clubs.

- We must start to be realistic employers are leaving the area, many Highland homeowners are "under water" there are some ways to cuts costs larger class sizes, more emphasis on intramural sports does Highland really need a football team? And look for more and significant cost savings in administration!

- Show some innovation, risk and collaboration with other NYS entities in consolidation and efficiency. For example, merge the New Paltz and Higland districts and reduce /share admin resources and management.

- The increase is not the issue at hand. Value for the money paid is the issue. I would support 10% increase if the expense justified the final results!! Teachers need to contribute more to benefits like the rest of the workforce and have contracts re-negotiated!

- Renegotiate teacher salaries at minimum 0% increases and increased contributions to healthcare and pension which mirror the real world. Why should teachers get a better deal than the people that pay their salaries?

- Teachers have extremely hard jobs but the pensions that they get are not in line with the rest of the country. They need to start contributing more to them and making concessions like other professions.

- Teacher salaries/benefits need to be in line w/the rest of the world no raises and benefits for the rest of us.

- If the teachers will take a cut in pay to help make things better then I'll vote yes to support the budget.

- Everyone should be paying the going rate for benefits. Step-raises are enough.

- Teachers and staff get more benefits than the average worker or self-employed person.

- Teachers pension and benefits packages need to get in line with industry. No one in industry has packages that rival teachers and often public servants.

- Have the teacher pay for there insurance, & no raises. We all have to cut back.

- You must re-open contract negotiations and cut all assistant positions whether instructional or administrative.

- I think we need renewable tenure for teachers getting a permanent job doesn't mean you can't be fired, too many just waiting to retire

- cut the compensation packages to all civil service employees.there will be more money for our childrens education as opposed to the teachers benefits packages..

- Again.the kids should come first and I feel our educators need to come to the table to prove they are not in it for the money.

- Why is these never any discussion regarding "cutting" teacher and Administration pay? I realize we are not given the opportunity to vote on this, but it has gotten way to far out of hand and tax payers are left holding the bag, as well as students! Teachers in particular make MUCH more money in New York state as compared to other states and our own Elementary is STILL a school in need of improvement by not meeting AYP TWO years in a row. This is ridiculous. I would support their salaries, if the school was performing and recognized as a quality school, but unfortunately it is not. Hopefully, someone will step up and make a difference and stop avoiding the "elephant" that is clearly in the room.

- Address teacher salary and medical and pension. Give-backs/cuts in the next contract.

Teacher's union needs to make more concessions than in the past, given the change in the surrounding economic climate.

- I've always felt that too much attention is paid to sports, and not enough to music. I also believe very strongly in having attention towards the students' gifted program.

- Many of the things I feel are very important I don't necessarily think we should raise taxes to provide. Am I willing to pay more taxes? Actually, yes. But I think there are other areas of the budget, like longevity bonuses and step increases that could be tapped to pay for some of it. I don't think the solution is to transfer that cost to the parents (for extra-curricular activities). All students should have access to those programs, not just those whose parents can pay for it. I would like to see additional cuts, but not to programs or number of employees. I think the school board has done a good job given the parameters they've had to work in. It's going to take all of us to find positive solutions to this crisis.

- Teacher contracts should be better handled. let's see them hold their increases. No concessions are made on their end like tax payers have to deal with.

- If cuts need to be made they should be across the board including salaries, benefits for BOTH teachers and ADMINISTRATORS (A little by all will get us thru this)

- You can't make the necessary cuts without looking at where the majority of the costs are incurred administration, teachers, and benefits.

- Teachers could have made deferred step increases. Make parents and booster clubs pay for varsity sports.

- Who needs Lacrosse, Tennis, etc when our students need employment on graduation. Bag the individual band lessons -waste of time & interfere with academics.

- Open the contract and drive between the folks under contract and the tax paying citizens of highland. If you do that then this client will be delighted. But do not tell me the only solution to savings is cutting jobs, that is in now way the only option.

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