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VC adopts revised budget

June 5th, 2013

Early this week, the Valley Central School District Board of Education approved a revised 2013-2014 budget proposal to submit to voters on June 18.

The board voted 5 to 1 in favor of the $89.4 million spending plan on Monday, with member Sonia Lewis voting no and Vice President Elizabeth Blashka abstaining.

The spending plan, which Superintendent Dr. Richard Hooley points out is nearly $1 million less than the current year’s budget, would restore enough funding for half-day kindergarten, as well as varsity sports and extracurricular activities.

In order to save those programs, the district had to cut an additional $430,824. The board achieved that by cutting several teaching positions, including one in both foreign language and math and half a position in both science and health.

Some of the programs that won’t continue next year due to the public’s failure to pass the district’s original $92.4 million budget proposal on May 21, are JROTC, JV sports and elementary art, music and library. Those were some of the very programs that local residents fought to save during a public forum last week.

“If it wasn’t for music and sports [my son] probably wouldn’t have graduated,” said one parent, adding that she will consider sending her daughter to another school if they aren’t available at Valley Central.

Montgomery resident Diane Pike said she has one son in high school and another who will be starting kindergarten in September.

“If we don’t keep these kids in the programs that they want to be in…then we’re going to find a lot of kids standing on street corners getting involved in what we don’t want them to be involved in,” she said.

Kaitlyn Cohn spoke also, explaining that she was no longer looking forward to her senior year.

“I’m going to have nothing,” she said.

“All my [Advanced Placement] and art classes are going to be cut. I’m not going to have a reason to go to school.”

Board members were clear that they would do everything in their power to restore as much as possible should any additional aid be found.

By JESSICA MURRAY
jmurray@tcnewspapers.com

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