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Students from Canton's AP Government class, after an assembly last spring to explain state aid cuts to other students. Photo: Julie Grant
Students from Canton's AP Government class, after an assembly last spring to explain state aid cuts to other students. Photo: Julie Grant

PRNDI Contest Entry: Continuing Coverage

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Public schools in New York's North Country had a tough year in 2012, as you can hear in our continuing coverage of the issue. We produced more than 20 stories following their plight, and have included a selection in this entry.

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Reported by

Julie Grant
Reporter and Producer

Here’s a rundown of the stories:

0:00- 2:50 NCPR reporter Julie Grant was spending time at  Canton Central High Schools, to get to know students and what was important to them.  What she heard in the Advanced Placement Government Class coincided with school funding discussions going on in Albany, as you can hear in the first story of our entry.  As students applied to colleges, they were seeing firsthand how the reduced offerings at their school were limiting their futures.  The story includes some powerful words from young people, and shows how they starting working toward change.

2:50-3:20  The final state budget doesn’t provide enough money for North Country schools.  We hear from the Canton Central superintendent about the cuts that will need to be made.

3:20-6:40  As they prepare for graduation, two students who were part of the lobbying effort reflect on what it meant to them.  They came away with opposite conclusions from the experience.

6:40-11:35  It’s summertime, but schools are getting down to brass tacks: they need to make cuts, while increasing services.  We talk with an elementary school principal, as well as a retiring teacher and librarian all concerned about the coming school year.  The school will lose a teacher at each level, and will need to increase class sizes.  At the same time, the state and federal governments are increasing mandates on the school: more testing, a new teacher evaluation system, and a move toward the core curriculum standards. 

11:35- 13:00 North Country schools starting to talk about consolidations and mergers.  We attend a meeting as district leaders from around the region talk with the Cuomo administration about the possibilities ahead.

13:00-14:00 A survey shows many New York school districts are going insolvent, both educationally and financially.

14:00-22:00 Lobbying starts over again, as a new budget cycle begins.  This story includes students worried about limited classes and programs, Governor Cuomo’s take on the issue, and ends with the possibility of another school funding lawsuit in New York.







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