As parents, business owners, taxpayers and lifelong residents of Northville and Mayfield, we take our vote on the school merger very seriously. This vote will impact our sons throughout their school career. While there are dozens of issues to consider before voting, there are really two main issues:
1.) Does this merger offer our children a better education?
2.) Is this good for the financial future of our school, taxpayers and community?
The merger proposal only allocates $50,000 for increased education out of a $27.7 million budget (page 20 of the proposal). This "drop in the bucket" will offer very little to increase educational programs. There also is the assumption more programs and a bigger school offer a "better" education. While programs are a key part of education, the classroom setting is equally important. Small classes with individual instruction are key to success. Christian was homeschooled for a number of years before graduating from Northville Central?School and found the educational setting and individual help an asset to his education. Similarly, a smaller community-based school, such as NCS, offers an educational setting we value and feel is beneficial. After all, it takes a village and school to raise a child.
The merger can look attractive financially due to the nearly $19 million in state incentive. However, the proposal has many areas that cause alarm. The differential in tax rates between NCS and the Mayfield Central School District is a serious concern. This merger would be great for taxpayers of Mayfield with a proposed tax decrease of 26 percent. However, Northville voters would be looking at an 11 percent increase. That along with issues such as faculty contracts ($150,000 increase), possible loss of tuition currently paid by Edinburg ($350,000) and increased transportation costs ($639,439) in the proposal add further financial risk to NCS voters. Simply overriding the 2 percent tax cap on the next NCS budget could easily offer the same educational opportunities as the proposed merged district.
It is clear to us that the proposed merger does not ensure a better education or financial future for our children and community.
As parents, we do what is best for our children, and continually evaluate the process of education. Therefore, our opinion is the proposed merger is not in our children's and community's best interest.
CHRISTIAN and MEGAN (HAND) KLUEG