Superintendent Bill Gregory told them that Canton has gotten a particularly bad deal from the state, when compared with other districts. In the past two years, Canton Central has cut 20 percent of its staff. And still, it's facing a $2 million shortfall this year.
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The community lobbied hard for changes during the state budget cycle last spring. Parent and organizer Tedra Cobb says it needs to try again, and start earlier this time around.
"Sometimes schools or communities or counties have a bad year, but we've consistently had bad years. So we are looking at cuts and cuts and cuts. And we don't have anything left to cut, except those special programs such as sports, and music, and art, and anything that's non-mandated."
Cobb says the community needs to convince lawmakers to help before Governor Andrew Cuomo comes out with his budget proposal early next year. Once that comes out, she says it's too late.
But School board President Barbara Beekman is skeptical. She says the governor's education budget is not about what's best for the schools, it's about what's best for Cuomo.
"For a person who has presidential ambitions, is it worth having sacrificed the educational system in your state, so you have some cred with the fiscal conservative crowd? That's what this boils down to. We are the stepping stone. That's what I feel like."
Some folks at the meeting still want to move forward. They talked about educating the community, getting the local universities involved, lobbying lawmakers, and directly contacting the governor's office.
David Sommerstein contributed reporting to this story.