Why Get Involved NOW?
You may be thinking “Schools always benefit from more money. Why should I get involved now?”. . . There are several really good reasons:
1) Canton’s situation is dire– This year’s situation is qualitatively different than what we have faced in the past. According to School Superintendent Bill Gregory, the magnitude of this year’s cuts renders our school “mission incapable” and could potentially result in school closure.
2) The only way to “fix” our current crisis is with more state aid. We cannot fix the problem with tax increases, even if we wanted to. We cannot fix the problem by trimming “fat” from the school budget. We cannot fix the problem by asking teachers to contribute towards their health care costs. We cannot fix the problem by using our reserve fund. None of these options are sufficient to offset the magnitude of a 2.7 million dollar shortfall.
3) The Governor’s Budget is set in January. Once the budget is set, our school board must work with the funding it receives (more or less). It is difficult, if not impossible, to change the funding formula at that point. If the Governor’s budget does not include more aid per student for Canton, the school board’s hands are tied and crippling cuts are inevitable.
4) The cuts that will be made in the coming year are not easily restored. Faculty whose jobs are eliminated will need to relocate or find other sources of employment and cannot easily be reinstated. Once we have “made do” with a system that offers a reduced options for students, it is more difficult to get them back.
5) Any reduction in the quality of our school system creates a ripple effect into the community. Our school is a cornerstone of our community. The quality of the education our children receive is important for families, businesses, universities, county agencies and countless other Canton based organizations. The effects of such devastating cuts would undoubtedly be far-reaching.
Please take the time to educate yourself about the issue and ACT NOW!
For more information on the New York State budget deadlines: http://www.budget.ny.gov/citizen/process/process.html