Skip Navigation
Regional News
The Tupper Lake Central School District is one of the cornerstones of the central Adirondack community.  Now the district is cutting staff and reducing sports and after school programs. Photo: <a href="http://www.tupperlakeny.us/tupper_education.html">tupperlakeny.us</a>
The Tupper Lake Central School District is one of the cornerstones of the central Adirondack community. Now the district is cutting staff and reducing sports and after school programs. Photo: tupperlakeny.us

Are Tupper Lake schools "educationally insolvent"?

Listen to this story
Later this month, four North Country school districts will take their revised budgets back to voters in hopes of winning approval for their spending plans.

The General Brown Central School District in Dexter, along with Minerva, Newcomb and Tupper Lake all asked voters last month to approve budgets that broke the 2 percent property tax cap.

All four failed to win the sixty percent super-majority needed to set the cap aside. So they'll be offering new budgets for a second vote on June 18th.

Seth McGowan, superintendent of Tupper Lake's district, says the revised budget comes in well below the property tax cap, but it will also mean a total of seven job cuts.

Hear this

Download audio

Share this


Explore this

Reported by

Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

Story location

News near this location

The board did adopt a new budget that will result in seven staff positions [being cut].
"I think people in this community are struggling economically," McGowan said, expaining the defeat of the budget in the first vote last month. 

"The board did adopt a new budget that will result in seven staff positions [being cut]."

Asked whether these reductions will cut into the strength of Tupper Lake's core teaching programs, he pointed out that the district has cut nearly 20 positions over the last five years.

Will students in Tupper Lake still receive a well-rounded education?  Students from LP Quinn Elementary School in Tupper Lake learning to tap maple trees. Photo: The Wild Center, Creative Comons, some rights reserved
Will students in Tupper Lake still receive a well-rounded education? Students from LP Quinn Elementary School in Tupper Lake learning to tap maple trees. Photo: The Wild Center, Creative Comons, some rights reserved
"In this round, we are very close to being what I would consider being educationall insolvent.  Forget about the financial side of it.  The positions that have been reduced specifically are in science at the middle high school, social studies position, school psychologist, foreign language teacher."

McGowan says there have also been cuts to athletics, after-school activities, field trips and other parts of the Tupper Lake CSD budget.  "Everything has felt a piece of this," he added.

Tupper Lake isn't alone in its struggles.  Newcomb Superintendent Skip Hults is struggling to find cuts that balance his school's budget while garnering enough political support in his tiny community. NCPR file photo
Tupper Lake isn't alone in its struggles. Newcomb Superintendent Skip Hults is struggling to find cuts that balance his school's budget while garnering enough political support in his tiny community. NCPR file photo
"It wouldn't take much more reduction in the teaching force for students not to be able to accumulate enough credits to graduate in four years.  Jut because of the number of courses that we'd be able to offer in terms of electives, in particular, or foreign language or science course, or math and English."

According to McGowan, the loss other value-added programs, like field trips and after school clubs are also threatening the educational experience.

To hear the full interview, click listen above.

Tupper Lake isn't the only district facing a revote. Hear NCPR's conversation with Skip Hults, superintendent of the Newcomb district, here.

Visitor comments

on:

NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.