Letter from the Board President

Dear Spackenkill Community:

I’m writing to inform the public that the Spackenkill Union Free School District has filed litigation against the New York State Education Department (NYSED). Those of you who have attended Board meetings know that the Superintendent has said several times that he has been conferring with NYSED officials about receiving promised building aid, not for our current capital project but for the high school project that goes back to 2009. Please read the “Statement Regarding Legal Action” posted on the district website (spackenkillschools.org).

Board members and the Superintendent have lobbied in Albany. We have met with our elected officials and have even gone so far as to talk to the Governor’s office. On the advice of our attorneys, due to the pending litigation, we can’t expand on that too much here, but wanted to let you know that we have exhausted every possibility to take care of this problem. Our last resort is to file litigation. 

This is a complex issue. We expect many in our community to have questions and comments, and the Board wants to hear them. Please send those questions directly to us at spackboe@sufsdny.org. We will keep the community informed by posting our responses to frequently asked questions on our website. 

This takeback that NYSED is implementing will go away if the Governor signs a bill that Senators Serino/Harckham and Assemblywoman Barrett have sponsored this past year. If the Governor signs the bill by December 31st, this problem will be resolved. If not, we have planned for this possibility, so it will have minimal short-term effect on this year’s budget. 

Please contact the Governor’s office using a letter template for either email or U.S. mail on our website. Let the Governor know that this exorbitant penalty is unfair to our students and community and would affect our ability to maintain the high standards for which Spackenkill is known. The loss of state aid would impact our academic, athletic, and artistic programs, as well as the safety and security of our students and staff.

We need to have our voices heard. The Spackenkill community must speak up! The louder the voice, the more attention it gets—and we want the Governor’s attention. We urge the community, staff, and students to continually contact the Governor as many times as possible (even daily) until this critical issue is resolved.  Please take action ASAP, whether by email, mail, or phone (518-474-8390). We’re committed to resolving this issue, and as your elected representatives, we urgently need your help.

 

Sincerely,

Tom Keith

Thomas Keith, Jr.
Board President