Albany schools discuss cutting jobs, school programs - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Albany schools discuss cutting jobs, school programs


By: Jamie Ratliff

ALBANY, N.Y. - The trimming for The City School District of Albany must continue for another year. School officials say 75 jobs are on the line along with school programs.

Year after year The City School District of Albany fears the trims they must make to keep their classes running cut closer and closer to the students.

"We're looking at music and art and sports, and it could go all the way down to some of the AP programs that this community values," said Ron Lesko, spokesperson for The City School District of Albany.

At a meeting Tuesday night the board of education addressed their several million dollar shortfall for the 2013-2014 school year and who or what has to go to make ends meet.

"We need the state to take a serious look at how they're funding public education, otherwise we're not going to be able to sustain programs our students need and deserve," said Lesko.

Along with looking at eliminating 75 jobs, structural changes to the classroom may have to occur, going from nine periods to eight, and some athletics and electives may have to go.

At the meeting it was addressed that salaries, health insurance, and pensions make up approximately 70% of all expenses in public school districts in the state.

For many in attendance they felt the blame for the school's purse strings tightening fell solidly on the shoulders of the governor.

"They've already been cutting so long. What else can they cut? The governor won't listen that our schools need to be funded properly," said attendee Janine Sullivan.

Sullivan, a mother of three, said her family decided to settle in Albany because of the great things she'd heard about the area's schools. But sitting down at the meeting, she wondered if they had made the right choice.

"Do we need to start looking to move to another state where they are going to fund education?" asked Sullivan.

And possibly the greatest fear for school officials is that in hindisght the 2013-2014 budget year may seem like a simple stroll.

"This is the most difficult budget conversation this school district has ever had, and we know next year is going to be significantly worse," said Lesko.

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