Diviney: "This is an Entirely New World" of School Funding

School board president calls for new and different ways of thinking about school funding.

Three Village's outgoing school board president on Tuesday called for the community to challenge traditional ways of thinking about school funding, saying more flexibility and creativity are necessary for the district to thrive going forward.

"I think people have to realize this is an entirely new world," Diviney said. "One of the reasons we’re making the cuts, or looking at the type of cuts that we normally wouldn’t make, is we don’t have the luxury of operating in the world the way it was" before the most recent election cycle or budget vote.

His remarks were met with applause from the approximately 200 people present at the meeting.

Diviney pointed to the tax cap legislation along with unfunded state education mandates as part of the reason why such new thinking is necessary.

"We can sit and bemoan [it], as I have done, complaining the law is stupid, the law is terrible, they’ve put a burden on us without taking away the mandates," he said, "but we don’t have the ability to change that. We have to react as best as we can."

Among the ideas Diviney suggested were the creation of endowments to fund certain positions or extracurricular activities outside the budget, considering different ways of structuring the schools, and looking for more cooperative agreements with neighboring school districts.

He said the entire community needs to come together to preserve the quality of the school district.

"We’re going to have to be flexible," he said. "We have recognize as a group we’re going to have to make changes every single year because if we simply are going to make incremental cuts every single year, to come back two, three, five years from now ... it’s not going to be the same [school district]."

Tc May 31, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Over $125 million of the $176 million budget is for salaries and benefits. Quite frankly this payroll can not be sustained any longer with the tax cap in place. Unless you want your children's services and programs to be negatively impacted year after year, it's time to stand up to the teachers union and say enough is enough!! " Remember it's for the kids"!! Really!!
Its Over May 31, 2012 at 11:10 AM
we could cut that number in half if we could get rid of the union. if we hired new teachers at 35000 to start with the benefits they now receive the line of top flight applicants would stretch from manhattan to montauk
justme May 31, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Yes we should be able to use the labor pool to our advantage. The 140K teacher is not necessarily contributing more for the money than the 70k teacher. How did we get to this position where we are overpaying by 100%? Bad business. Tenure is for supreme court justices who need to be able to render their honest opinions without fear of public retribution. It has no place in a public school district. As in any profession, our great teachers should be rewarded and compensated according to merit and the not so great weeded out.
Joanne May 31, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Keep in mind the New York State Department of Education has mandated that by January 2013 all NY public school teachers are subject to a new evaluation system includIng test scores and merit. Moving forward tenure will not matter, neither will seniority. All new teaching contracts will be subject to this new mandate. The state is forcing all districts to implement this system. Also, teachers' salaries in Three Village are comparable to teachers' salaries in Brentwood. Where would you rather pay your taxes and send your children to school???
A Pinched Three Village Tax Payer May 31, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Residents have been telling the BOE that for years, but since the trustees were all hand selected by the Union why would they do anything but raise salaries. The entire BOE needs to go
Its Over May 31, 2012 at 04:52 PM
sounds like the teachers are overpaid in all the school districts and you would rather teach in the nice TVS. If these mandates actually tested the teachers instead of the students I think many teachers would fail.
Joanne May 31, 2012 at 05:09 PM
The mandates will be testing the teachers. All classroom teachers will be administering pre-tests in September and post-tests in June. Teachers will be graded accordingly. Please check out NYSED website for a breakdown of teacher accountability, it really is informative. Administrators will also be directly impacted by this new legislation. It is a "win-win" all around. Teachers and administrators will be paid according to their effectiveness, pushing them to work most diligently in order to earn every penny they make and the students will be receiving an education from people who know their jobs are on the line...
Long time resident May 31, 2012 at 07:55 PM
I agree with Mr. Diviney that : "This is an entirely new world" of school funding. I think it is unrealistic to suggest that endowments will help solve the district's financial problems. Current board members stated as part of their campaigns that they would bring "alternate streams of revenue" to the district. I have not heard or read about that happening. Ms. Bavlnka stated this year that 'we are doing a helluava job" getting grant money but I have not heard or read that there was significant grant money offsetting the financial problems that the district faces.
Like it or not May 31, 2012 at 09:06 PM
$35,000 is the starting salary for a teacher in North Carolina where the cost of living is 50% of what it is here. We certainly would not have the top flight applicants lining up. We would lose great teachers to other states and other professions. Teachers need to be able to afford to live on Long Island too.
Vincent June 01, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Grant $ is still being funded by the taxpayer. Mr. Diviney was on the right track when he said TVSD could work in cooperation with neighboring school districts to save money. Here are some thoughts. Form a purchasing pool to get better deals on goods and services needed. Merge some administrative duties & reduce the number of people not having direct, instructional contact with the students. Long Island has over 100 district superintendents (not counting assistants). New York City has one chancellor!
Barry June 01, 2012 at 04:04 AM
"It's over" tell us all about yourself....tell us what you do with computers, how much you make, and your contribution to society. Let the public decide your worth. Are you worth more than 80-100k a year. I bet you make a lot more. Prove me wrong. BTW - Does what you contribute at your job improve or positively change the lives of at least 25 children per year and hundreds over a career? Have you educated countless children ( some who will definitely replace you at your job one day) and created lasting memories, instilled confidence, built character while teaching how to read, write while dealing with separations, divorces, and family tragedies while loving every minute of it? Sorry for the run-on....Have you pretended to be happy at work sometimes while leaving your own personal problems, financial difficulties, and family tragedies at home so your second family  can have a great day? For some, our smiles are the only ones they get each day. Have you ever had to use the bathroom but had to wait 3 hours as you walk around helping kids who are crying because they don't understand something but everyone else seems to...have you ever wanted to eat lunch but decided to call a parent instead just to let them know what a great job their child was doing...all that and more in 6 hours, not bad huh?
Barry June 01, 2012 at 04:04 AM
So... unless  you have created a miracle program on your little computer that can do what we do, keep your comments about our worth to yourself and your "stooges" and drink your own kool-aid.
Its Over June 01, 2012 at 11:55 AM
your job sounds very rewarding. your very lucky. It sounds like the rewards are greater than any pay check but I remember teachers doing the same things for a lot less money. what gives you the right to become a rich country squire off of our nickel?
Barry June 01, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Last time I checked, I wasn't rich. I drive a 15 year old car and have to hold a second job and wouldn't change a thing.
Tom Hannice June 11, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Wow Barry, you sound like a bitter man. Glad my kid didn't have you for a teacher. Bad teachers can also mess a kid up in all those areas you mentioned (my kids have had more bad than good). Whatever think you are worth, doesn't matter, we can't afford any more.


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