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I had two very upset kids come home and say the sky is falling...

Canton parents alarmed by school cuts

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A group of Canton Central School parents is pulling together a meeting tonight to consider how best to advocate for a bigger share of state education aid.

Superintendent William Gregory told the school board last week that Canton Central might need to cut 44 jobs next school year.

Gregory predicted cuts in teaching positions would mean larger class sizes: up to 30-to-40 students per classroom. Sports, elective classes, and extracurricular programs are all threatened.

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Martha Foley
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Parent Tedra Cobb, an independent management consultant, has an eighth grader and a tenth grader at the school. She’s facilitating the meeting, “I had two very upset kids come home and say the sky is falling, and I said, OK, my job as a parent is to figure out what’s going on, and what to do.” 

Last year New York cut funding to every school to make up for its own $10 billion budget gap. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget restores much of that funding, but not all, and North Country superintendents say the distribution formula isn’t fair to their schools.

Cobb said the ad hoc group hopes to hear from parent organizations and other advocates already working to change the current formula, “we’re small school districts and it sounds like we don’t quite fit. We don’t quite fit with super poor districts, and we don’t fit with the wealthy districts, so we’re getting hurt. And if there can be some change, or some paying attention to that, to me, that would be a great outcome.”

The meeting is set for 6:30 in the high school cafeteria.

The school district in Ticonderoga is also facing deep cuts in the coming year. Superintendent John McDonald told the Plattsburgh Press Republican this week the budget situation looks awful. The district plans a public work session on the budget tonight as well. Brian Mann will have that story during The Eight O’clock Hour tomorrow (Thursday).


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