Parents, Students Help School Districts in Tough Financial Times

Courtney Williams's picture
Thursday, April 19, 2012

Amid tough financial times, state aid to school districts has dwindled, while unfunded mandates continue to rise.

"They've really cut our hands off and said, 'You've still got to get the job done.' It's an impossible task this year," said Suzanne Slack, the Syracuse City School District CFO.

Rick Timbs, the Statewide School Finance Consortium Director added, "They're losing the education of their children as we speak."

Because of the tough cuts districts have proposed, more people than ever are coming to meetings to voice their opinions.

"That's because we're at the cliff and we're in big trouble. And things are going to change and not necessarily everyone's going to be happy," said Timbs.

To address the impossible task, districts called on the help of the community more than ever to make sure parents and students are the ones prioritizing programs to help shape school budgets.

"In our community forums this year, people have really looked at the bigger picture, and we've been very grateful for the very positive dialogue that's been there and the understanding the community has shown," said Kraig Pritts, the Tully Superintendent.

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