“Speak Out” with Assemblywoman Sandy Galef Focuses on Shrinking School Budgets Through Sharing and Consolidation

Panel of experts discuss how we got here and visions for change

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef recently hosted a forum devoted to how the consolidation of schools and sharing school services has the potential not only to cut the costs of our schools but also to improve their quality. The forum featured four distinguished guests, John Clarkson, former Executive Director of the New York State Commission on Local Government and Efficiency and Competitiveness, Dr. Joseph l. Natale, Director of Advisory Solutions for the New York State School Boards Association, Charles Zettek Jr., Vice President and Director of Government Management Services for the Center for Governmental Research, and Jonathan Drapkin, CEO and Executive Director of Pattern for Progress. The forum airs in three parts. In the first two, the panelists offer a fascinating history of consolidation efforts here and in other states: stories of success and failure. Because they have been thinking out of the box for some time, the panelists offer a host of suggestions that are not part of the usual discussion about tax relief. In part three of the forum, questions from an audience that represents a cross section of Galef’s assembly district, touch on such issues as the need to be sensitive to the makeup and differences between school districts when considering consolidation. “I think it is so important for community members to understand the process of consolidating local governments and school districts. We really need everyone’s participation if we are to move forward,” said Galef. “If our community members become involved in local discussions then we can better decide what is right for each community, and what can hopefully lead to greater efficiencies and lower taxes. I encourage anyone who wasn’t able to make it to this forum to watch it on TV.” Tune in to cable television on the following days and times to learn more.

“Speak Out” with Assemblywoman Sandy Galef on Shrinking School Budgets Through Sharing and Consolidation
airs as follows: Cablevision

Part 1 Airs 4/13, 5/4, 5/25 & 6/15
Part 2 Airs 4/20, 5/11, 6/1 & 6/22
Part 3 Airs 4/27, 5/18, 6/8 & 6/29 Ossining and Peekskill airs on Channel 15: Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.
(Briarcliff, Ossining, Scarborough, Buchanan, Cortlandt, Croton, Garrison, Montrose, Peekskill, Philipstown South, Verplanck)
Wappingers Falls airs on Channel 21: Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.
(Cold Spring, Philipstown North)
Yorktown airs on Channel 74: Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.
(Lake Peekskill, Putnam Valley) Comcast
Part 1 Airs 4/13, 5/4 & 5/25
Part 2 Airs 4/20, 5/11 & 6/1
Part 3 Airs 4/27, 5/18 & 6/8 Carmel, Kent, Mahopac & Putnam Valley Channel 8: Wednesday at 7:30 Verizon FiOS Customers
Please check your local listings for air times