Letter: Rye Neck summer school rebuttal

To the Editor,
Luis Quiros’ harangue, “Student summer school charges unfair,” in the Aug. 23 edition, totally misses the point about summer school. First of all, the taxes paid for the Mamaroneck School District and the Rye Neck School District come from totally different taxpayers.

After the passage of the Taylor Law in 1967, school districts rapidly dropped their summer school programs. The tax burden was simply too great. Home district students were prohibited from paying tuition and teachers had to be paid according to union scale. Mamaroneck was extremely fortunate to have a group of people who formed a not-for-profit corporation to provide continuing education, which districts also dropped from their school budgets; yet another victim of escalating costs.

The Larchmont-Mamaroneck Center for Continuing Education offered to run summer school when it was dropped from the Mamaroneck school budget. To that point, all students paid a fee to the corporation, with a slightly larger fee for out-of-district students. In its wisdom, the New York State Education Department refused to allow Mamaroneck students to pay any fees to attend summer school in their home district. As a result, in order to continue to provide any summer school, fees for out-of-district students increased.

If Mamaroneck were to drop its summer school program, local students would all be obliged to attend evening classes in New Rochelle and all the students would pay out-of-district fees to New Rochelle.

In a letter like Mr. Quiros,’ the facts should accurately reflect the situation. Rye Neck does not oblige students to pay fees. The opportunities for kids to attend summer school, which many students need to graduate, are becoming fewer and fewer. Look to the New York State Department of Education to help remedy the situation. And in Mamaroneck’s case, thank the people who established the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Center for Continuing Education and the dedicated volunteers who have kept the program going for more than 40 years.

Marlene Kolbert,
Village of Larchmont trustee