Mon July 23, 2012
Schools suffering from aid cuts
Buffalo schools' fiscal problems have been well documented, but it's becoming apparent several area districts are experiencing similar difficulties.
With continuing cuts in state school aid part of the pattern of education in New York, districts are explaining the effects.
Many spoke to Governor Cuomo's Education Reform Commission which is holding meetings across the state and seeking some solutions. During a session last week, members heard stories of building closings, staff cuts, program cuts, even cuts in the number of class periods a day.
Fredonia Superintendent Paul DiFonzo says students have to be educated to compete with students across the world and fiscal cuts are making that hard.
"We're gradually losing our essence. We're losing program after program. You can see the list of things we have tried to do over the last seven or eight years, including two centralization attempts, closing a recently renovated primary building that was beloved in our community," DiFonzo said.
"We've reduced staff. We have experienced a reduction in enrollment so we've right-sized right along."
DiFonzo says some districts around Fredonia have cut programs so badly they are "educationally insolvent."