Tuckahoe, Southampton School Districts Sign Exclusivity Agreement

Future Tuckahoe graduates will not have Westhampton Beach High School as an option.

The Tuckahoe and Southampton school districts — which are in the midst of examining the prospect of merging into one district — agreed this week on a tuition contract that means Tuckahoe graduates will exclusively attend Southampton High School in the 2013-14 school year.

Tuckahoe does not have a high school of its own, so parents have been given the option in recent years to either send their children to either Southampton High School or Westhampton Beach High School. Under the new exclusivity agreement, Tuckahoe School District residents who already attend Westhampton Beach High School will be able to continue their education there. But this year's eighth grade class at Tuckahoe must attend Southampton High School for ninth grade — or choose a private school.

The deal came about after the Tuckahoe School Board asked the Southampton School Board to lower the tuition rate charged to out-of-district students. Tuckahoe was feeling a budget squeeze, with an exceptionally large eighth grade class — 44 students — slated to enter high school in 2013. If Southampton could not lower tuition, Tuckahoe would look to other money saving options, such as exclusively sending students to Westhampton Beach and/or Hampton Bays, where the tuition rates were more affordable, or teaching ninth grade at Tuckahoe School.

Southampton officials told Tuckahoe that the only way it could offer a discounted tuition rate would be if Tuckahoe agreed to send all of its students to Southampton High School. "In effect, Southampton could charge a lower tuition rate per student if the number of students was larger," a statement from the Southampton School Board reads. "In addition, it was projected that Tuckahoe could save additional costs on transportation."

According to the Southampton School Board, the exclusivity agreement gives Southampton a predictable enrollment projection for budget and program planning.  "The larger Tuckahoe enrollment at Southampton High School will enable the maintenance and possible expansion of academic and interscholastic athletic program opportunities for all students at lower costs," the School Board states. "We view the exclusive sending contract as a win-win for both school communities."

The school boards also each agreed this week on hiring SES Study Team, a firm based in the Albany area, to study the feasibility of merging the two districts.

The study is designed to end speculation on the benefits an drawbacks of a merger, and to obtain accurate, objective information through a neutral third party. The details of the study are prescribed by New York State, according to Tuckahoe School Board President Dr. Daniel Crough. He said during an October School Board meeting that the state needs certain information to know that a responsible decision is being made, though ultimately it will be the residents of the Tuckahoe and Southampton school districts who decide whether to proceed with the merger, via public referendum.

Mary Beth December 13, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Tina, ignore the stench. He gets off on posting dribble.
Bob Schepps December 14, 2012 at 03:46 PM
So the agreement provides a volume discount to Tuckahoe. Sounds like a smart business deal to me. I guess the 2% cap has provided the much needed push to reexamine school finances. I think it is a move in the right direction.
El Stinkeroo December 14, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Funny, you lecture from way up on high, yet you have your toesies soaking in the water way down south. I didn't see the weather person calling for unflossed breezes from south of the border?
Mary Beth December 14, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Bob, should the education of our children always be about the bottom line?
Bob Schepps December 14, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Actually yes that's the point. The way to the bottom line is a more business like approach to how we fund our schools with the best result. Profit or the bottom line takes all that into account. The way bit has been run is that teachers through unions negotiate with politicians that they fund through campaign contributions. Where are the kids in that equation? Nowhere. Its about the cash. We need to make radical changes to school funding because its NOT working. If it were a business it would be out of business. Unfortunately it has gotten to point where fixing the existing system is way to much lifting. It needs a complete new direction and overhaul. The best approach would be a more business like approach. IMO


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