SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – Student athletes packed a Schenectady school district budget forum on Saturday in order to save their school sports from getting cut.
The budget vote is only a month away and many districts are being forced to make tough decision, and in Schenectady it means possibly eliminating sports altogether.
The budget meeting started at 8 a.m. on a Saturday, and yet hundreds filled the cafeteria at Schenectady High School. Many of them were parents and student athletes concerned that in the face of a mounting deficit the district could cut sports.
"We want to protect sports for us and future generations," said Orlondo Hundley, a Schenectady student athlete.
Hundley is on the lacrosse and indoor track teams; he says eliminating the athletics program would hurt his future and plans to go to college.
"We got a lot of kids that athletics is their avenue to the next level with that being college. If we don't have athletics, a lot of those kids that opportunity is gone," Mark Cerrone, the football and track coach
Cerrone was joined with his students on Saturday, the first in the hallway and then in the meeting. Cerrone said they're hoping to put a face to the cuts, leading the school board to reconsider.
"We're touching base with over a third of our population while a lot of our kids love coming to school because of the sports that they're in," said Cerrone.
According to the district, cutting sports would save $320,000. The school board also says it's considering eliminating school librarians, art and more. The school board president said none of it will be easy.
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