Beacon is "susceptible" to fiscal stress, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says. Others are worse. Beacon's CFO (and interim supe) Quartironi says this stems from use of fund balance to make up for limitations stemming from tax cap. click here for full article
An article on Philipstown.info puts the focus on our current and past Board. "While current Beacon City Schools Superintendent Barbara Walkley is embroiled in controversy as many parents call for her dismissal, the school system’s issues date back much further than just her tenure" click here for full article
Following last night's Special BOE Meeting a letter was released and will be circulated to parents in the BCSD. This letter, written by current board President Melissa Thompson, seems to place the blame on a "handful of community members". However, the turnout of over 375 community members at the cancelled Jan. 11th BOE meeting tells us otherwise.
_A few hundred parents and others showed up for a Beacon City School District Board of Education meeting Monday night. There was no meeting, but concerned community members stayed and held one of their own. click here to hear
Thank you to Lori Merhige who last night spoke on behalf of the Advocates for Beacon Schools and announced our formation. We look forward to working together with other passionate stakeholders in our amazing city:
Hello, my name is Lori Merhige and I am here today representing the Advocates for Beacon Schools - a group of parents, residents, and taxpayers - all stakeholders in the Beacon City School District. In the interest of creating yet another acronym, you can call us ABS, for short.
ABS formed unofficially last August as a group of concerned citizens who were looking to get more involved in a hands-on way with improving our schools. We supported and assisted each other to formulate the hard questions we felt needed to be asked of our District leadership, and worked together as a group to share information and create a plan for achieving positive change in our schools.
Needless to say, we have been very busy. When we were not able to obtain clear answers to our questions from our Board and Superintendent, we did the research and found our own answers. When we received dubious responses to pointed questions, we did our own fact checking. We have been reaching out to Beaconites of all walks of life to find out what their struggles with our schools have been, and where they would like to see change. We have reached out to other districts for examples of what DOES work in public education today, and have been inspired by what we have learned. We believe that Beacon is a place that has an amazing diverse community with unlimited potential. If only our school district could free itself from it’s own dysfunction, IT TOO could stand a chance of reaching its full potential.
Now, I want to stop here and say that, on a personal note, in all my years of volunteering and activism, I have never worked with such a dynamic, capable, smart, and motivated group of people as those I have met in Beacon, and through ABS. I have been both inspired and humbled to work alongside them and I want to take a moment to thank each and every one of them for their energy and dedication to our schools...SO FAR. I say that because we have a long way to go before our work here is done.
Having said that, I want to invite each and every one of you to JOIN the Advocates for Beacon Schools, and to aid us in achieving our mission: To mobilize and support community stakeholders to ensure that ALL students in the Beacon City School District are provided with an excellent public education.
So let’s get started, shall we? I will be sitting near the exit with a sign in sheet for anyone who wants to get on our mailing list and receive more information about what we are doing and how you can be a part of it. I have handouts containing our contact info as well as our website address - advocates12508.com - so you can read up on the local issues as well as what is happening in education on a state and national level. Please seek me out before you leave so you can get your name on our list and find out more about how you can make a difference for Beacon’s schools.
I have already learned the power of what a few people can do when they work together. Imagine what ALL of us could do - how amazing Beacon’s schools could look - if we join forces for change? Beacon’s Kids deserve better. Let’s give it to them.
The 1/11/16 Board Meeting was cancelled because a quorum was not present. According to the NY State School Board Association: “If a quorum is not present, no official business can be conducted until more members arrive. Informal discussion can, however, legally take place, or the meeting can be adjourned (less than a quorum may adjourn).” Our President, Melissa Thompson, chose to adjourn the meeting.
Over 350+ parents, teachers, students, and stakeholders remained in the auditorium. Board Members Anthony White and Bill Zopf remained in attendance along with Deputy Superintendent Ann Marie Quartironi.
We thank all of those that stayed and listened to the speakers.