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On May 17, 2011, there will be a School Budget and Bond vote for Cornwall Schools.  Here are some things that you should consider before casting your vote.  

The amount of salaries earned by our teachers is a very closely guarded secret. However some information was provided in 2006, perhaps inadvertently, which may allow us to sneak a peak at what our teachers really earn in salaries and benefits. As of last year, according to the February 3, 2006 issue of the Cornwall Local, 20.9 Million dollars of our school budget goes for teacher salaries and benefits. According to the Cornwall School Website, our school district has about 230 teachers.  Here is what my math tells me:  $20,900,000 divided by 230 teachers equals $90,869.56 per teacher on average for 2006.  In 2007 the average pay package of salary and benefits will easily exceed $100,000 since the teachers were recently awarded retroactive pay increases in excess of 5%.    Teachers work only 180 days per year and they work only 6 and 1/2 hour days, which means that teachers work only 1170 hours per year (i.e. 6.5 hours multiplied by 180).  When we break down the $90,869.56 and divide that by 1170 hours we see that in 2006 we were paying teachers an average of $77.66 per hour in salary and benefits.    
In 2007, the cheer-leading committee, also known as the school board, couldn't find room to cut any more out of the budget, so they asked us to approve another huge increase in property taxes and an additional Bond vote on top of the budget.  When the citizens of California found themselves in a similar situation, they passed Proposition 13. Proposition 13 resulted in the immediate reduction of property taxes by about 57% and, according to the newly amended state constitution, property tax rates could not increase by more than 2% yearly unless the property was sold.  WE NEED A PROPOSITION 13 REVOLT IN CORNWALL.

In a January 20, 2006 article dealing with teacher salaries, also in the Cornwall Local, Assemblywoman Nancy Calhoun was quoted as saying "I think they let the cat out of the bag years ago with generous increases in salaries". (Well, with the 2007 5-year contract it's deja vu all over again Ms. Calhoun).  We think that Ms. Calhoun was kind in choosing her words.  What she really meant to say was that only fools tax themselves to the point where their homes become worthless.  
And if the above facts are not enough to get your blood pressure up, consider this:  In 2006, the Cornwall Local knocked on some doors at random along Avenue "A" and interviewed 15 people on the topic of school budget vote for 2006.  Of the 15 people that they randomly interviewed, 5 of them were drawing salaries from the school system.  I'm SOOOOOOOOO glad we're not bursting at the seams with Educrats!  Aren't you?

The School Budget Vote is scheduled for May 17, 2011.


Note: This viewpoint was first published on this website in the spring of 2007. We at Cornwall Taxpayers United were absolutely thrilled to see that one of the first pieces of legislation that was undertaken by our newly elected Governor, was to see to it that very similar legislation to California's Proposition 13 went into effect for New York State Taxpayers. We are NOT claiming credit, but we are pleased and amused by the coincidence. BRAVO Andrew!