Johnstown parents fear kindergarten cuts


JOHNSTOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — There’s a school board meeting Wednesday night following Tuesday’s defeated budget vote in Johnstown.

The budget, carrying a 35 percent tax levy, failed to get 60 percent of the vote Tuesday night meaning sports and extra-curricular activities are on the chopping block. Parents are concerned kindergarten could be next.

It was a fun day on the playground for 5-year-old Oliver, but his grandma, Mary Miller, is concerned about his future after the Johnstown school budget was defeated Tuesday night.

“He plays soccer, and they love it, and it’s important, but I think education is way more important than sports,” said Miller.

Superintendent Patricia Kilburn says there will be kindergarten next year, prioritizing it over extra-curricular activities and sports. But as a non-mandated program, it remains in jeopardy.

“We have a huge concern, my wife and myself, about, are we going to have a kindergarten?”

If a revised budget carrying a 14.5 percent tax levy fails, the district’s savings will only last two more years on a contingency budget. If kindergarten were cut, Johnstown High School alum Max Spritzer says he’d have to send his young kids elsewhere.

“Not only would we have to pay the city school tax, we’d have to enroll our daughter into a different school and pay that tuition as well, and that’s not feasible,” said Spritzer.

In addition to second grader Luke, Brittany Morgan has twin, three year olds at home. Kindergarten may not be state mandated, but it’s essential in her eyes.

“It’s very important. They need to learn to socialize and be around other kids their age,” she said.

A revote is scheduled for June 18th, where the district will seek a 14.6 percent tax levy increase, which does not require a supermajority vote.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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