Despite lengthy discussions and a study that spanned over five years, the League of Women Voters was not able to come to consensus on the establishment of an education foundation in Scarsdale. In 2005 the League voted to conduct a study, the group did much research and conducted a panel discussion on the issue this fall.
They issued an informative report of their findings that you can find here .
At a membership meeting of League of Women Voters of Scarsdale on November 15, the group was not able to come to consensus on the issue but did conclude that Scarsdale is unique in that residents are already engaged in a myriad of groups and activities that provide significant funding for school initiatives. They also cautioned against the potential for undue influence from specific interest groups that could arise if a foundation was formed, saying, “If an education foundation were to be established, significant checks and balances must be addressed in defining the role of an education foundation and its governance,” adding that “It is important that the Board of Education be involved in the grant process of the foundation to safeguard the priorities of the school district as formulated by the Board of Education and the Superintendent of Schools.”
However, the possibility of establishing a foundation was not completely ruled out as the report says that the League might revisit the issue in the event that:
- The state imposed local tax caps
- The school budget could not fund significant projects that affect our core values
- The Board of Education adoption of a contingency budget
In the interim, the membership of a group called Field for Kids has proposed raising over $300,000 to fund the installation of lights on the turf field at Scarsdale High School. The current Board of Education will need to consider the gift, how it fits into current Board priorities and the precedent it will set, if accepted.
For now, there will be no educational foundation in town, but if the economy does not recover, and tax revenues continue to decline, this issue may be back on the table soon.