No JROTC at Valley Central
There is news circulating throughout the community that Senator William Larkin has secured $36,000 worth of funding to be used to save the Valley Central School District’s JROTC program but in this case, you shouldn’t believe everything you hear.
While Larkin spokeswoman Jennifer Downs confirmed that the senator notified school officials about the funding late last month, she said he did not specify what the money had to be used for.
“We leave it up to the school district since they know the students’ needs best,” she said.
According to his understanding, Valley Central School District Superintendent Dr. Richard Hooley said the money will be issued in the form of a grant that will have to be applied for in the near future.
“It’s not clear when the money would be disbursed,” he said, adding that even if it did come before the start of the new school year, it would not be enough to restore the beloved high school military training program.
“It would cost $78,000 to restore JROTC,” Hooley said. “Thirty-six thousand dollars is not going to restore JROTC.”
JROTC, as well as other programs like JV sports and elementary art and music, were cut when Valley Central voters failed to pass the district’s original budget proposal on May 21. When a lower spending plan was approved the following month, school officials said they would be committed to restoring items should additional funding be made available.
While Hooley said the school board would likely discuss the $36,000 at their next meeting, he feels it is too soon to tell what it will mean for the district.
“We’re certainly grateful for the money but given the financial challenges we’re facing, I don’t think it will make a tremendous impact,” he said.
BY JESSICA MURRAY