Gov's school cuts would run deep


By Patsy Nicosia

Governor David Paterson’s proposed mid-year state aid cuts to schools would cost Sharon Springs Central some $113,682 and leave the district no choice but to raid its fund balance or cut teachers.
Or both.
The proposed cuts are part of the Governor’s two-year plan to close a $5 billion state budget gap and includes a 4.5 percent reduction in remaining school aid for 2009-10.
The loss to other Schoharie County school districts would be: Cobleskill-Richmondville, $610,917; Middleburgh, $277,683; Schoharie, $333,388; Jefferson, $74,393; and Gilboa-Conesville, $130,462.
SSCS school board members talked about the cuts at their meeting Monday; for now, there’s not much more they can do but wait and see.
“How do we recover from something like this?” said Superintendent Pat Green. “There’s nowhere to look but staff.”
And that, he said, would raise questions about what to do with positions the district had cut or reduced but then restored with federal stimulus monies.
Mr. Green also pointed out that even if the cuts don’t come mid-year, they’ll likely come in 2010-11.
Also Monday, board members said the plan for a new driveway to Route 10 at the back of the school has been pulled from EXCEL plans.
SSCS had first looked into the driveway as a way to ease traffic congestion, especially at the end of the day, but realized it would likely create more safety issues than it would solve.
A display on the proposed new playground has been set up in the school lobby and there’s a box for comments.
Comments already submitted are largely positive, though suggestions include more “imaginative play space,” a shaded pavilion, and the return of the old-style merry-go-round.